Comprehensive rehabilitation programs for low back pain

Comprehensive rehabilitation programs offer a variety of treatments for low back pain, integrating physical therapy, pain management with medicine and mental skills, and various medical treatments. They teach people how to care for their backs, how to prevent reinjury, and, in the case of people with chronic pain, how to manage their pain (and situations that make their pain worse) on a daily basis. The most reputable programs are staffed by a team that includes doctors, physical therapists, behavioral counselors, and social workers.

You are likely to benefit from a comprehensive rehab program if you have:

  • Pain and decreased function that have not improved after 2 to 4 months of treatment.
  • Chronic low back pain. An intensive multidisciplinary treatment program is considered an effective approach to treating chronic low back pain. 1
  • Had back surgery.
  • Had one or more unsuccessful back surgeries and have been incapacitated for several years.

Citations

  1. McIntosh G, Hall H (2008). Low back pain (chronic), search date May 2007. Online version of BMJ Clinical Evidence: http://www.clinicalevidence.com.

Last Updated: February 3, 2010

Author: Shannon Erstad, MBA/MPH

Medical Review: William M. Green, MD - Emergency Medicine & Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

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