Recurrence of low back pain is common

a prospective inception cohort study

Tatiane da Silva*, Kathryn Mills, Benjamin T. Brown, Natasha Pocovi, Tarcisio de Campos, Christopher Maher, Mark J. Hancock

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Questions: How commonly and how quickly does low back pain reoccur in a cohort of people who have recently recovered from an episode of low back pain? What are the prognostic factors for a recurrence of low back pain? Design: Prospective inception cohort study with monthly follow-up for 12 months. Participants: A total of 250 patients who had recovered from an episode of low back pain within the last month. Outcome measures: The primary outcome was days to recurrence of an episode of low back pain. Secondary outcomes were: days to recurrence of low back pain severe enough to limit activity moderately, and days to recurrence of low back pain for which healthcare was sought. Results: Within 12 months after recovery, 69% (95% CI 62 to 74) of participants had a recurrence of an episode of low back pain, 40% (95% CI 33 to 46) had a recurrence of activity-limiting low back pain, and 41% (95% CI 34 to 46) had a recurrence of low back pain for which healthcare was sought. The median time to recurrence of an episode of low back pain was 139 days (95% CI 105 to 173). Frequent exposure to awkward postures, longer time sitting (> 5 hours per day), and more than two previous episodes were predictive of recurrence of an episode of low back pain within 12 months (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Recurrence of low back pain is very common, with more than two-thirds of individuals having a recurrence within 12 months after recovery. Prognostic factors for a recurrence include exposure to awkward posture, longer time sitting, and more than two previous episodes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-165
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physiotherapy
Volume65
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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Bibliographical note

Copyright the Australian Physiotherapy Association 2019. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Keywords

  • Cohort studies
  • Low back pain
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Risk

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