The Outcomes of Chronic Low Back Pain in Physio-General Medicine management. A prospective study
Introduction: Acute or chronic lumbar pain is very disabling and it negatively affects quality of life. There are several guidelines related to the management of low back pain (LBP), but some studies on the quality of care, provided in the field of general medicine, are judged to be in contrast with them. The objective of this study is to analyze the management of the LBP in the practice of Italian general medicine and compare it with the recommendations of the guidelines.
Materials and methods: In this observational study, in a general medical center, 50 patients suffering from chronic LBP were enrolled. All patients, assessed on a case-by-case basis, have been given personalized therapies for their LPB, according to SIOT guidelines in agreement between orthopedic and general practitioner. The monitoring took place over a period of 12 weeks. We evaluated: adherence to therapy; consumption of pain medication daily, second-level diagnostic tests performed post-therapy; The Short Form (12) Health Survey for the evaluation of the quality of life; the VAS for pain and Oswestry Low Back Pain Score for the objective evaluation of the quality of life related to the lumbar spine.
Results: In the 35 (70%) patients who adhered to the therapy according to guidelines we had an increase in quality of life, a reduction in pain, a decrease in drug therapy and the performance of II level diagnostic tests compared to 15 ( 30%) who did not adhere to the therapy according to guidelines. However, in both groups an increase in drug consumption was seen 6 months after the evaluation endpoint.
Conclusions: The family doctor plays a fundamental role in the management of chronic pain.
Patient education plays a key role in therapy and favorable outcomes in patients with LBP.