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Low-back pain is experienced by most adults at one time or another. Over time most people find the pain goes away. However, low-back pain accounts for considerable health care costs and work absenteeism.

Dr. Arno Engers, Center for Quality of Care Research, Radboud University Jijmegen Medical Center, Netherlands reviewed 2-dozen studies and found additional individual education appeared to be as effective as chiropractic manipulation and physiotherapy for individuals with acute lower-back pain. Patients with chronic lower-back-pain did not benefit as well from the extended education.

Engers found that trained health care workers who spent 2-2½ hours helping a patient discover ways to modify their behavior to reduce aggravating their back injury improved their recovery rate. When less time was spent educating patients the approach was not as effective.

Researchers highlight the need for additional studies on the effectiveness of eduction sessions for people with chronic back pain.

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