Negative Expectation and LBP

Reference:Gross DP1, et al Recovery expectations predict recovery in workers with back pain but not other musculoskeletal conditions. J Spinal Disord Tech. 2010 Oct;23(7):451-6.

This study consisted of over 1000 patients with work-related injuries of whom 29% had back pain and the rest had other musculoskeletal injuries.

It turns out that individuals with back pain who had negative expectations for their recovery actually fulfilled their own prophecy. However when it came to other musculoskeletal injuries their negative expectations did not predict outcome.

What can we learn? Ask your next work injury patient with low back pain “Do you think you will be back at work in the next 6 weeks?”

In the words of Henry Ford —
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t –you’re right.”

If possible, we need to do our best as PTs to make our patients with LBP more optimistic about their recovery. This is often more essential than any specific manual therapy or muscle retraining intervention.

Posted on: June 12, 2014

Categories: Lumbar Spine

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