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Acute low back pain (LBP) and sciatica are common reasons for contacting a primary care physician. There are many options for the initial management of an episode of acute LBP and sciatica including advice to stay active or advice to rest in bed. Until two decades ago the advice to rest in bed was common practice, but over the years this practice has changed towards a more active approach. Currently, almost all clinical guidelines for the management of acute LBP favour the advice to stay active above the advice to rest in bed.1 The question is to what extent this preference for staying active is based on evidence?
Dahm and colleagues performed a systematic Cochrane review evaluating the effects of advice to rest in bed and the advice to stay active in patients with acute LBP. Literature searches were carried out in relevant databases such as Cochrane Back Review Group Trials register, Medline and …
Competing interests None.
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