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Although there is evidence from observational studies that early physiotherapy reduces costs associated with treatment in patients with acute low back pain (LBP), current guidelines do not endorse early physiotherapy for these patients. This randomised controlled trial is the first study aiming to investigate if early physiotherapy is better than usual care for this population.
This trial recruited 220 adult patients with acute LBP no more than 16 days from the onset of symptoms, without symptoms distal to the knee and with an Oswestry Disability Index score of 20 or higher. Patients with serious spinal pathologies, nerve root compromise, pregnancy and previous lumbar surgery were excluded. A clinical prediction rule was used …