I am a
Home I AM A Search Login

Papers of the Week

Papers: 25 Feb 2023 - 3 Mar 2023

Resource, Review

Human Studies

Musculoskeletal Pain

2023 Feb 20

J Clin Med




Chronic Low Back Pain: A Narrative Review of Recent International Guidelines for Diagnosis and Conservative Treatment.


Nicol V, Verdaguer C, Daste C, Bisseriex H, Lapeyre É, Lefèvre-Colau MM, Rannou F, Rören A, Facione J, Nguyen C


Chronic low back pain (cLBP) is a public and occupational health problem that is a major professional, economic and social burden. We aimed to provide a critical overview of current international recommendations regarding the management of non-specific cLBP. We conducted a narrative review of international guidelines for the diagnosis and conservative treatment of people with non-specific cLBP. Our literature search yielded five reviews of guidelines published between 2018 and 2021. In these five reviews, we identified eight international guidelines that fulfilled our selection criteria. We added the 2021 French guidelines into our analysis. Regarding diagnosis, most international guidelines recommend searching for so-called yellow, blue and black flags, in order to stratify the risk of chronicity and/or persistent disability. The relevance of clinical examination and imaging are under debate. Regarding management, most international guidelines recommend non-pharmacological treatments, including exercise therapy, physical activity, physiotherapy and education; however, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, in selected cases, is the core treatment recommended for people with non-specific cLBP. Oral, topical or injected pharmacological treatments are under debate, and may be offered to selected and well-phenotyped patients. The diagnosis of people with cLBP may lack precision. All guidelines recommend multimodal management. In clinical practice, the management of individuals with non-specific cLBP should combine non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatments. Future research should focus on improving tailorization.