Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of low back pain


Diagnosis, treatment and prevention of low back pain


Professor Kathryn Refshauge, Associate Professor Paulo Ferreira

Research Location

Clinical and Rehabilitation Sciences Research Group

Program Type



Despite the enormous expenditure world-wide on understanding and researching low back pain, little is known about the causes of low back pain, the factors that increase the risk of developing an episode of back pain, or about effective treatments.  We have shown that it is extremely uncommon for patients to present with low back pain as the first symptom of serious pathology, but that the clinical screening is very useful to identify cases when they do present.  We have also shown that, although most cases of back pain are benign, contrary to conventional thinking, recovery is slow and incomplete.  When we followed up what recovery means to patients with chronic back pain, our results were quite a revelation, i.e. that patients define themselves as recovered quite differently from their treating clinician and from researchers.  Our group is also currently tackling the most vexed issue of all: diagnosis of the pathology underlying low back pain.  That is, conducting a series of studies to investigate these issues, particularly the pathology of non-specific low back pain, and psychological factors.

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back pain, sciatica, disc problems, Diagnosis, risk factors, prognosis, treatment

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 763

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