Low Back Pain: Read All about ItLow back pain is a common problem. It comes and goes for many sufferers, and it can require many visits to the doctor. Sometimes the best approach is to wait it out, taking simple steps to help manage pain and discomfort. But this type of practical information may not always come across during a brief visit with the doctor. Brochures are one possible way to help patients handle their own low back pain successfully.
In this case, the brochure was developed by asking patients what information they wanted. Patients and doctors had some different ideas about what information was important. The brochure included simple facts about the spine and ways to relieve back pain. It also discussed the importance of staying active and gave tips for the chores and movements of daily life. There was advice on exercise and on where to learn more. Doctors gave out the brochure with the message that it could help patients take control of their pain.
Over the next two and a half years, researchers went to patients' homes. They found that the group who had gotten the brochure had developed some better habits for taking care of their backs. Both groups had about the same back function. But patients who got the brochure tended to be less anxious and felt more in control of their back pain. Studies like this help fine-tune treatment methods for patients with low back pain.
Lisa Roberts, PhD, MCSP, et al. The Back Home Trial: General Practitioner-Supported Leaflets May Change Back Pain Behavior. In Spine. September 1, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 17. Pp. 1821-1828.
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