“Given that most patients with acute or subacute low back pain improve over time regardless of treatment, clinicians and patients should select nonpharmacologic treatment with superficial heat (moderate-quality evidence), massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation (low-quality evidence).

The direct and indirect costs associated with low back pain are immense, reaching $90 billion a year in the U.S. alone.2 In most cases, low back pain resolves on its own in a few days or weeks, but sometimes it persists for 12 weeks or more, at which point it’s considered chronic.



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