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Remember to consider psychosocial factors in patients with chronic back pain, says Audrey Wang.
An everyday scenario in general practice is the patient presenting with back pain. Musculoskeletal conditions are a common reason for repeat consultations, making up 30 per cent of primary care consultations.1
Most patients reporting low back pain may not come for another consultation, but may still be suffering from it more than three months later.2 A survey of chronic pain in Europe found 59 per cent of participants had suffered with pain for between two and 15 years.3
Two-thirds of these individuals were taking prescription medication and more than half were also taking over-the-counter medication; only 2 per cent were treated by a pain management specialist.
Another study found that poor outcomes for musculoskeletal pain in primary care were …