Death, taxes, and low back pain are three of the certainties of life with over 90% of individuals reporting low back pain at some point in their lives. Our previous posts have described the ability of Physical Therapy to both accelerate a patient’s recovery from low back pain and reduce its’ risk of recurrence. A recent study examined the factors that are correlated with a “flare up” or exacerbation of symptoms in patients with acute LBP.
Authors studied 48 patients with low back pain (<3 months duration) and assessed for periods of either baseline symptoms or flare ups described as a period of increased pain lasting at least 2 hours (Suri, P et al. Spine. 2018). Prolonged sitting, > 6 hours, was the only activity significantly associated with a flare up. Patients who sat greater than 6 hours were 4 times more likely to have a flare up. Mental health, including stress or depression, was also associated with a low back pain flare up. The authors showed patients undergoing Physical Therapy treatments reported significantly less flare ups.