Patients with acute low back pain rarely take sick leave but frequently develop chronic symptoms, a study from the journal Spine suggests.
In the study, researchers worked with 605 acute low-back pain patients with and without sciatica who were being treated in a primary-care setting. The patients were evaluated for initial pain and disability levels. On a scale of 1 to 10, patients reported an average pain level of 5.6. Their average disability score was 15.8 on the Roland-Morris scale of 0 to 24. Researchers were able to follow-up with 521 patients after six months and again with 443 patients after two years.