New Zealand Guidelines Group
New Zealand Guidelines Group - New Zealand Guideline - Completed

New Zealand Acute Low Back Pain Guide
Purpose of the Guideline

This guide provides an evidence based approach to the assessment and treatment of acute low back pain, for the prevention of chronic pain and disability. It follows an extensive review of the international literature, and wide consultation with professional groups in New Zealand. The guide is to be used in conjunction with the Guide to Assessing Psychosocial Yellow Flags in Acute Low Back Pain: Risk Factors for Long-Term Disability and Work Loss.

The main purpose of this guide is:
  • to promote better management of acute low back pain to prevent chronicity simplifies the history and examination of people with acute low back pain making it easier to identify people without signs of serious disease, who should be reassured, treated symptomatically and encouraged to remain active, and people who should be referred for appropriate specialist opinion on the basis of Red or Yellow Flags
  • to suggest time frames for recovery from an acute episode of low back pain, so that people not fitting this ‘normal’ pattern can be identified identifies psychosocial risk factors for chronic back pain
  • to suggests strategies for better management for people at risk of chronic low back pain or those not recovering as expected
  • to change the attitudes of treatment providers and the public about acute low back problems. Excess disability can result from reliance on a narrow medical model of pain; discouragement of self care strategies and failure to instruct the patient in self management; sanctioning of disability and not providing interventions that will improve function; and over-investigation and perpetuation of belief in the ‘broken part hypothesis’

Copyright 1998–2002
New Zealand Guidelines Group
New Zealand