Israeli guidelines for prevention of low back pain

A. Lahad*, H. Sarig-Bahat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Introduction: Due to the lack of international consensus regarding the efficiency of various methods for prevention of low back pain (LBP), this article describes the Israeli guidelines for prevention of L.B.P., based on the recommendations of the European Commission, COST Action B13. Objective: Consolidation of Israeli guidelines for prevention of L. B.P. Method: In September 2004, the Israeli low back pain work group gathered in Haifa, to discuss and reach a consensus relating to the LBP prevention guidelines. The forum was sponsored by the Israeli Medical Association. Literature search: The recommendations of the European committee, COST B13, served as the main source of information. The European group based its conclusions on systematic reviews mainly from the Cochrane, Embase, and Medline databases, and other smaller databases for more specific topics. The search covered the years 1966-2003. Information was also gathered through personal contacts with experts in the field. Additional searches were conducted for recent RCTs, published following the most recent systematic reviews. The final recommendations were sent to be reviewed by international experts in LBP. Summary of recommendations for the general population: Physical exercise is recommended for prevention of sick leave due to LBP and for the occurrence or duration of further episodes (Level A). There is insufficient consistent evidence to recommend for or against any specific type or intensity of exercise (Level C). Information and education on back problems, if based on biopsychosocial principles, should be considered (Level C), but information and education focused principally on a biomedical or biomechanical model cannot be recommended (Level C). Back schools based on traditional biomedical/biomechanical information, advice and instruction are not recommended for prevention in LBP (Level A). High intensity programs, which comprise both an educational/skills program and exercises, can be recommended for patients with recurrent and persistent back pain (Level B). Lumbar supports or back belts are not recommended (Level A). There is no robust evidence for or against recommending any specific chair or mattress for prevention in LBP (Level C), though persisting symptoms may be reduced with a medium-firm rather than a hard mattress (LevelC). There is no evidence to support recommending manipulative treatment for prevention in LBP (Level D). Shoe insoles are not recommended for the prevention of back problems (Level A). There is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against correction of leg length (Level D). Despite the intuitive appeal of the idea, there is no evidence, at this time, that attempts to prevent LBP in schoolchildren will have any impact on LBP in adults (Level D).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)253-257
Number of pages5
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2007


  • Biopsychosocial
  • Guidelines
  • Low back pain
  • Physical exercise
  • Prevention


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