Risk stratification of patients with low back pain seen in physical therapy practice

This study aimed to identify predictive characteristics associated with patients with lumbar impairments who have a high risk of a bad prognosis (lowest functional recovery compared to visit utilization) as well as those who are at low risk of a bad prognosis (highest functional recovery compared to visit utilization). Lumbar impairments are very common and routinely cause people to seek medical care, including physiotherapy. Most prognostic studies focus solely on good outcomes but do not factor in the intensity of care needed to achieve the outcome. Understanding care intensity needed per outcome achieved could assist in the assignment of appropriate care quantities. Statistically significant predictors for high risk categorization included older age, longer duration of symptoms, surgical history, current use of medications, lower levels of disability at baseline, and insurance categorization. Statistically significant predictors of low risk categorization included younger age, male gender, shorter duration of symptoms, no surgical history, higher levels of disability at baseline, and insurance status.

Selected variables were related to both poor and good recovery. Further research on prognosis, efficacy of physiotherapy care, and cost seem to be warranted for patients with lumbar impairments.

Neck Pain

Out of all 291 conditions studied in the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Study, neck pain ranked 4th highest in terms of disability and 21st in terms of overall burden.

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