Study: Better Adherence to Clinical Guidelines for Back Pain Needed

A new study published in the July 29 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine reports that improvements in back pain management could result in both better patient outcomes and cost savings for the overall healthcare system. The report finds that published guidelines for routine back pain, such as first-line treatment with NSAIDs, acetaminophen and physical therapy, are often not followed, in favor of narcotic prescriptions and/or specialist referrals. Other shortcomings identified include overuse of advanced diagnostic imaging such as CT or MRI, when these are unlikely to positively affect treatment quality. Read a news report here.

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