The 10-minute examination for low back pain
Low back pain (LBP) is a major public health problem and a common reason for patient visits to a primary care physician. A pathoanatomically precise diagnosis cannot be made in most patients, and the primary care physician typically has only limited time to conduct a complete examination. A brief visit that is highly structured for efficiency can provide direction about the underlying pathology of acute LBP, leading to appropriate pharmacotherapy and adjunctive measures. Asking targeted questions during the history taking is the key to a successful diagnosis. Patient education helps ensure a successful outcome. Use of analgesics and skeletal muscle relaxants can help relieve symptoms in many patients. (J Musculoskel Med. 2008;25:162-168).