Prevention is a fundamental tenant of most areas of health care but has been largely ignored in the field of back pain. While thousands of clinical trials have investigated treatments for back pain, few trials have investigated prevention. Arguably the balance is wrong. Prevention of back pain can be considered in terms of primary, secondary or tertiary prevention. Growing epidemiological evidence suggests that while many people with acute spine pain recover well over a relatively short period of time, a large proportion will have recurrences. If recurrences of spinal pain can be effectively prevented this has the potential to greatly reduce the personal and societal burden of the condition.
This presentation will cover epidemiological research that provides the rationale for effective prevention strategies. The latest evidence for prevention of back pain will then be presented, together with discussion of some challenges to perfroming high quality back pain prevention research.