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For Acute Low Back Pain, Staying Active May Be Better Than Bed Rest

June 30, 2010 — Advice to stay active vs bed rest may offer small benefits in pain and function for patients with acute low back pain  (LBP), but both approaches are comparable for patients with sciatica, according to the results of a review reported online June 16 in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews.

“Moderate quality evidence shows that patients with acute LBP may experience small benefits in pain relief and functional improvement from advice to stay active compared to advice to rest in bed; patients with sciatica experience little or no difference between the two approaches,” the study authors write. “Low quality evidence suggests little or no difference between those who received advice to stay active, exercises or physiotherapy. Further research is very likely to have an important
impact on the estimate of effect and is likely to change our confidence in it.”

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Published online June 16, 2010.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=20556780&dopt=Abstract

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