Exercise and psychology: the best medicines for low back pain

In March of 2018, the research of thirty-one academics across the globe culminated as a publication in the medical journal The Lancet. It outlined the growing trend of health professionals prescribing redundant, and oftentimes detrimental, treatments to patients with low back pain (LBP).

Current techniques to treat and investigate LBP include expensive painkillers and CT or MRI scans. Evidence shows that current practice is ineffective, expensive, evokes more distress for patients and also contributes to the condition becoming an ongoing issue. Medicare must shift its focus from subsidising superfluous treatments to instead promoting evidence-based approaches, such as yoga.

With half of Australians experiencing LBP in the past month, researchers are urging practitioners to veer away from outdated approaches and concentrate on providing advice on maintaining active lifestyles and psychological well-being.

Brian Woo Shik Kim

Read it on Sydney Morning Herald or hear it directly from Rachelle Buchbinder, Australian NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow.

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