The RCGP - Clinical and Special Projects, Clinical Guidelines, Acute Low Back Pain. Contents, Index page


Chapter 3

Principal Recommendations
Linked to Evidence

Diagnostic Triage
Use of X-Rays
Drug Therapy
Bed Rest
Advice on Staying Active
Back Exercises

These recommendations have been abbreviated for the brief version of the guidelines.

They are expanded here for clarity and to provide an additional base for consideration in developing local guidelines.


Diagnostic Triage

Recommendations Evidence

Diagnostic Triage

Carry out diagnostic triage
Diagnostic triage forms the basis for decisions about referral, investigation and management.
Diagnostic triage of acute low back problems should be based on the clinical history and examination:
  • simple backache (non-specific low back pain)
  • nerve root pain
  • possible serious spinal pathology (tumour, infection, inflammatory disorders, cauda equina syndrome, etc.)
Back Pain Contents