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Papers of the Week

Papers: 24 Apr 2021 - 30 Apr 2021


2021 Apr 23

Transl Res

Back and neck pain: in support of routine delivery of non-pharmacologic treatments as a way to improve individual and population health.


Chronic back and neck pain are highly prevalent conditions that are among the largest drivers of physical disability and cost in the world. Recent clinical practice guidelines recommend use of non-pharmacologic treatments to decrease pain and improve physical function for individuals with back and neck pain. However, delivery of these treatments remains a challenge because common care delivery models for back and neck pain incentivize treatments that are not in the best interests of patients, the overall health system, or society. This narrative review focuses on the need to increase use of non-pharmacologic treatment as part of routine care for back and neck pain. First, we present the evidence base and summarize recommendations from clinical practice guidelines regarding non-pharmacologic treatments. Second, we characterize current use patterns for non-pharmacologic treatments and identify potential barriers to their delivery. Addressing these barriers will require coordinated efforts from multiple stakeholders to prioritize evidence-based non-pharmacologic treatment approaches over low value care for back and neck pain. These stakeholders include patients, health care providers, health care organizations, administrators, payers, policymakers and researchers.