MADRID. - Patients with lumbago ask radiography, some doctors opt for physiotherapy and others, back schools ... Although back pain is one of the most common problems, there are many uncertainties about what are the best tools to diagnose and treat. The American College of Physicians, in collaboration with the American Pain Society, just reviewed the available evidence on this ailment. Their findings, published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, are summarized in seven tips. .Physical exam and medical history %58of low back pain can not be attributed to a specific disease or abnormality (the so called non-specific back pain). When the query reaches a patient with low back pain, always take a medical history and physical examination to determine if the pain is non-specific cause or could be due to a serious problem like cancer, a fracture or a herniated disc. "No evidence suggests that labeling most patients with low back pain using specific diagnostic tools improves outcomes," say the authors, who do recommend, however, study or social psychological factors (depression, job dissatisfaction ...) that could delay recovery. .No to the imaging In general, patients with low back pain should not undergo imaging tests or other diagnostic tools. Not contribute to the affected evolve better and, on the contrary, he unnecessarily subjected to a considerable amount of radiation or other discomfort. A plain radiograph of the spine equals a chest radiograph performed daily for over a year. X-rays are recommended only when suspected the patient may have a vertebral fracture. The newer tests (CT and MRI) are also not advisable in these cases: minor anomalies often find that, although they are not the cause of pain may lead to unnecessary interventions.
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