Content » Vol 15, Issue 2

Original report

A prospective study of low back pain in a general population. III. Medical service--work consequence

F Biering-Sørensen
DOI: 10.2340/165019771983158996


Of participants with low back pain (LBP) at some time, about 60% said the pain had led them to consult their general practitioner, about 25% a specialist, and about 15% a chiropractor. About 30% had had an X-ray taken of their lumbar spine. Physiotherapy was the most common treatment given for the LBP. Manipulative therapy was the treatment which most often seemed to satisfy those with LBP although these cases might have been the milder acute attacks of LBP. Of the LBP complainers, 4.5% had been admitted to hospital and 1% operated on because of LBP. Work absence because of LBP occurred by 22.5% of the participants who were gainfully employed at some time. An additional 10% found it necessary to take special care on the job. Change of job or work function because of LBP was accomplished by 6.3%. Among those gainfully employed at the time of the examination, 6.7% had taken days-off within the past year because of LBP, an absence rate which corresponded to about two days per year per person. Previous, particularly recent use of medical services turned out to be a prognostic indicator for LBP in the follow-up year, while none of the work related parameters seemed to be good predictors, which may be because of the uncertainties related to these parameters.

Lay Abstract


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