Researchers analyzed data from 33 studies that included more than 11,000 patients to determine how treatment affects lower back pain. One year after beginning treatment, the typical improvement in pain intensity was about 90 percent for patients who had acute lower back pain and 50 percent for patients who had chronic lower back pain.
"Our review confirms the broad finding of previous reviews that the typical course of acute low-back pain is initially favorable: there is a marked reduction in mean pain and disability in the first six weeks," said Christopher Maher, MD, director of the musculoskeletal division at the George Institute for Global Health of the University of Sydney in Australia. "Beyond six weeks, improvement slows and thereafter only small reductions in mean pain and disability are apparent up to one year," he said.
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