Workcover in South Australia have produced a vapid report on back injuries. They got a team from Adelaide Health Technology Assessment (AHTA) a money-making venture of the Discipline of Public Health, School of Population Health and Clinical Practice at the University of Adelaide to prepare the documentation.
It's the usual useless literature review stuff, the same old rehash of the same old stuff the NH&MRC produces.
Draft recommendation 4. 1. 1
In the majority of cases of acute low back pain (approximately 95%), no specific diagnosis can be made nor needs to be made.
This is just bunkum.
6.7 Specific exercise programs
Draft recommendation 6. 7. 1
There is insufficient evidence to recommend specific exercise programs (e.g. stretching, strengthening, side bends, flexibility/mobilising exercise, or aerobics) over no treatment for workers with acute low back pain. The McKenzie exercise, however, may have some benefits over no treatment for workers with subacute low back pain (Grade C).
More bunkum. When you see the McKenzie exercise prescription you know the report has been written by physiotherapists.
Draft recommendation 6. 7. 2
There is insufficient evidence to recommend that specific exercise programs (e.g. graded activity, strengthening, stretching, aerobics, extension and flexion exercise) are superior to other conservative treatments or usual care (Grade A).
More bunkum. Surely this is evidence of a parallel universe. This is selective evidence at it's best, or is that worse? These people would have got more and better information about the treatment of back pain from a form guide.
Draft recommendation 7. 3. 2
There is some evidence that advice to maintain usual activities, provision of an education booklet and community-based group exercise* appears to be cost-effective first line interventions for acute low back pain.
Usual activities: I bet they don't include strength and flexibility exercises. And the booklet. I don't think many people became stronger or looser reading pamphlet.
If this is the best Workcover can do, no wonder the South Australian Government is going broke.
On the track
Took it easy.
In the meantime stay tuned highly tuned and steer clear of reports on back care produced by academics.