Emergency department care for low back pain: should we adopt recommendations from primary care guidelines?

Gustavo C. Machado, Narcyz Ghinea, Eileen Rogan, Richard O. Day, Chris G. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

ED visits for low back pain are increasing, but the lack of specific guidance for emergency physicians impedes evidence-based care, and adopting primary care recommendations may not be appropriate. The ED sees a different spectrum of low back pain presentations, where physicians are likely to encounter a larger proportion of patients with an underlying serious pathology or non-spinal diseases than in primary care. Current low back pain guidelines do not adequately cover screening for these conditions, but making a differential diagnosis is crucial in emergency patients with low back pain. In this article, we also discuss the challenges in developing specific ED guidelines for low back pain, the limited evidence on the profile of these patients and the surprising dearth of randomised trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)890-892
Number of pages3
JournalEMA - Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • emergency department
  • guideline
  • low back pain
  • primary care

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