How is mechanical low back prevented?

Updated: Mar 30, 2020
  • Author: Everett C Hills, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Stephen Kishner, MD, MHA  more...
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  • Complex social, legal, and economic issues tend to produce most of the complications surrounding mechanical low back pain (LBP). A full account of these issues is beyond the scope of this article. The following complicating factors have been associated with extended care of LBP and should be viewed as "yellow flags" to help the physician explore other causes to the chronic spinal condition being presented:

    • Trauma

    • Greater than 4 separate episodes of LBP

    • Sciatica defined as pain extending below the knees

    • Skeletal anomalies

    • Heavy smoking

    • Multilevel degenerative joint disease

    • Job dissatisfaction

    • Job disability in previous 12 months

    • Psychological distress and abnormal illness behavior (eg, positive Waddell signs, pain consistently rated 9/10, pain avoidance behavior, symptom proliferation, total body pain, collapsing or inability to move)

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