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Low Back Pain, Adult Acute and Subacute

Revision Date: March 2018

Sixteenth Edition

Guideline Summary

Scope and Target Population

Adult patients age 18 and over who have symptoms of low back pain or radiculopathy. The focus is on the acute (pain for up to 4 weeks) and subacute (pain for between 4 and 12 weeks) phases of low back pain. Chronic pain (after 12 weeks) is beyond the scope of this guideline. 

Aims

  1. Decrease the percentage of adult patients with acute or subacute low back pain with or without radiculopathy who have imaging ordered for low back pain in the absence of red flags at the initial visit. 

  2. Decrease the percentage of adult patients with acute or subacute low back pain with or without radiculopathy who are prescribed opioids.