Patients May Need More than Medication to Treat Chronic Back Pain

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Multidisciplinary Approach Successful in Chronic Back Pain
Multidisciplinary Approach Successful in Chronic Back Pain

(HealthDay News) — Medication combined with a multidisciplinary rehabilitation program can decrease disability and improve mental health in low back pain patients over several years, according to a study published online Dec. 26 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Sedigheh S. Tavafian, Ph.D., from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran, and colleagues conducted an extended 30-month follow-up of participants of a clinical trial evaluating group-based rehabilitation plus drug treatment for low back pain. In the follow-up, 69 patients in the intervention group continued receiving monthly motivational consultation and booster classes plus oral medication, and 77 patients in the control group received medication alone.

The researchers found that the two groups showed improvement for all studied variables (evaluated using the Short Form 36, Quebec Disability Scale [QDS], and Ronald Morris Disability Questionnaire [RDQ]) over time up to 30 months. However, the intervention group had consistently better outcomes for all variables compared with the control group. Within each group there were significant differences by time for measures of mental health and disability measured through QDS and RDQ.

"The proposed multidisciplinary program could improve mental health and disability up to 30 months in chronic low back pain patients," the authors write.

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