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GeneralJan 4, 2021

Athletes with lower back pain need evidence-based treatments, study tells clinicians

Rather than offering athletes with low back pain (LBP) a list of ‘what’s available’, clinicians should give guidance on evidence-based treatments instead, according to an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Written by an international team led by former elite rower Jane S Thornton, an assistant professor at the Schulich school of medicine and dentistry at Western University, Ontario, Canada, the article is based on a systematic review with a meta-analysis.

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Lower back pain is a common problem among athletes

Dr Thornton and her colleagues portray LBP as being a common problem plaguing sport. They suggest it can have a negative impact on athletes’ performance – and even contribute to them retiring at a relatively early stage.

They paint a stark picture of what is currently available to clinicians, noting: ‘There are no evidence-based or consensus-based guidelines for treating LBP in athletes.

‘Outside of sport, clinical practice guidelines recommend education, self-management, and physical and psychological therapies for most people with LBP.’

‘Whatever it takes’

Athletes, the authors suggest, are ‘performance-focused’ individuals who are ‘often willing to do wh...


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