Media releases

Are you exercising less during COVID? Keeping moving is key when it comes to lower back pain

Working from home is the new reality for many office workers since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and many people may be moving less. Choosing Wisely Australia is reminding people with low back pain that motion is lotion, and less is often more when it comes to medical interventions.

Working from home is the new reality for many office workers since the COVID-19 pandemic started, and many people may be moving less. Choosing Wisely Australia is reminding people with low back pain that motion is lotion, and less is often more when it comes to medical interventions.

Choosing Wisely Australia is part of a global campaign encouraging a national conversation about reducing unnecessary tests, treatments and procedures. When it comes to back pain, the Australian medical colleges agree* that when there is no indication of anything more serious, x-rays or other imaging is not needed and may be harmful, a waste of resources and will probably not provide any information that would change treatment.

They also recommend against the use of electrotherapy, medicines like diazepam (benzodiazepines), spinal fusion surgery, using a back brace (spinal orthotics), steroid injections and bed rest.

People should stay active, doing normal everyday activities including work. Most low back pain gets better by itself within 4-6 weeks.

Dr Robyn Lindner from Choosing Wisely Australia, facilitated by NPS MedicineWise, says Choosing Wisely is all about people being more proactive in the management of their own healthcare.

“Taking an active role means asking your healthcare provider questions about any test, treatment or procedure, so you can make a more informed decision about your health management,” she says.

“Choosing Wisely has 5 questions to ask your doctor or healthcare provider to trigger the conversation, available at the Choosing Wisely website.”

The Choosing Wisely 5 questions are:

  • Do I really need this treatment?
  • What are the side effects?
  • Are there simpler, safer options?
  • What happens if I do nothing?
  • What are the costs?

More information for consumers on low back pain

* The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Radiologists (RANZCR), the Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and a further 5 Australian medical colleges have Choosing Wisely recommendations around low back pain.

Media contact

Media enquiries: Matthew Harris, NPS MedicineWise Media & PR adviser: (02) 8217 9229, 0419 618 365 or [email protected]

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5 Questions

5 questions to ask your doctor or other healthcare provider to make sure you end up with the right amount of care.

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