WHO Releases Instructions on Chronic Low Back Pain

India Pharma Outlook Team | Friday, 08 December 2023

 India Pharma Outlook Team

The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its first-ever guidelines on managing chronic low back pain (LBP) in primary and community care settings, outlining which therapies to utilize and which to avoid during regular care.

Low back pain is the leading cause of disability globally. In 2020, approximately 1 in 13 people, equating to 619 million people, experienced LBP, a 60% increase from 1990. Cases of LBP are expected to rise to an estimated 843 million by 2050, with the greatest growth anticipated in Africa and Asia, where populations are getting larger and people are living longer, as per pharmabiz.

The personal and communal consequences and costs of LBP are most severe for persons who have persistent symptoms. Chronic primary LBP, defined as pain that lasts for more than three months and is not caused by an underlying disease or other condition, accounts for the great majority of chronic LBP presentations in primary care, with at least 90% of cases being estimated. WHO is issuing guidelines on chronic primary LBP for these reasons.

"To achieve universal health coverage, the issue of low back pain cannot be ignored, as it is the leading cause of disability globally,” said Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO Assistant Director-General, Universal Health Coverage, Life Course. “Countries can address this ubiquitous but often-overlooked challenge by incorporating key, achievable interventions, as they strengthen their approaches to primary health care."

WHO's guidelines offer non-surgical therapies to help persons suffering with chronic primary LBP.

Education programs that support knowledge and self-care strategies; exercise programs; some physical therapies, such as spinal manipulative therapy and massage; psychological therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and medicines, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, are among the interventions.

© 2024 India Pharma Outlook. All Rights Reserved.