Box 371 Common reasons why patients seek medical care for low back pain

• To receive information regarding recovery time

• To find out the cause of their pain

• Advice on activity modification

• Advice regarding medication options

• Reassurance about the absence of serious pathology

• Opportunity to challenge misdiagnoses or inappropriate management

• Sickness certification

• To explore alternative management strategies

• if your back hurts you should take it easy until the pain goes away;

• most back pain is caused by injuries or heavy lifting;

• back pain is usually disabling;

• everyone with back pain should have a spine x-ray.

Primary care physicians may be uncomfortable making management decisions in this population18 and may assume that you have better tools to treat these patients, or access to other spine care practitioners. There may be an assumption that you will provide ongoing care for the CLBP patient, prescribe opioids, or perform a more thorough evaluation. The management options outlined in this chapter will give the spine care provider a working feel for making reasonable choices for and with the CLBP patient.

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