Think Globally, Treat Locally: A Worldview of Low Back PainLow back pain is a major problem around the world. The cost of care and lost wages is increasing every year. For the past five years, doctors from many countries have been getting together to work on this problem. Doctors from North America, Europe, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, and the Far East have all come to these meetings.
Low back pain is no longer seen as a simple medical problem involving only the body. Risk factors also include psychological, emotional, social, and spiritual events.
This shift in thinking has changed the way low back pain is treated. Patients with back pain are told to exercise and stay active instead of resting or staying in bed. Doctors are prescribing medications to treat the anxiety and depression that often come with back pain. In Australia, billboards and television commercials are being used to help teach the public about these changes.
More than half of the world's population will have back pain at some point. Studying this problem has brought new information about causes and treatment. Doctors no longer view low back pain as purely a physical problem. The current thinking on back pain takes the mind, body, and social and emotional factors into account.
Jeffrey Borkan, MD, PhD, et al. Advances in the Field of Low Back Pain in Primary Care: A Report From the Fourth International Forum. In Spine. March 1, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 5. Pp. E128-132.
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