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  1. Roberta Heale
  1. School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Roberta Heale, School of Nursing, Laurentian University, Sudbury, ON P3E2C6, Canada; rheale{at}

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Non-pharmacological treatment of low back pain in primary care (DTB 2019; 57: 104-8)

Key learning points

  • Low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is associated with a significant personal, social and economic burden.

  • The use of often harmful and ineffective treatments (eg, opioids and surgery) represents a major challenge to the safe and appropriate management of non-specific LBP.

  • Greater emphasis is now placed on non-pharmacological treatments.

  • Self-care advice and reassurance should form the mainstay of non-pharmacological treatment for non-specific LBP, but there is a lack of guidance on how best to deliver reassurance in a way that is acceptable to people with LBP.

  • LBP is an unsolved problem and we currently lack truly effective treatments. Effects are often small and short lived and many treatments do not work at all. …

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  • Twitter @robertaheale

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.