Intended for healthcare professionals


The low down on back pain . . . and other stories

BMJ 2019; 367 doi: (Published 17 October 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l5936

Low back pain

Low back pain is the world’s leading cause of disability. Although there are guidelines for diagnosis and management, they are not always fully implemented in primary care. A cluster randomised trial in New Zealand found that a brief training intervention about low back pain improved attitudes, knowledge, confidence, and clinical behaviour among general practitioners (PLoS Med doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1002897). Disappointingly, outcomes of pain and disability in patients treated by doctors who had been given the training were no better than in those treated by doctors who hadn’t.

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