Psychological predictors of recovery – low back pain

Can long term low back pain recovery be predicted six months after onset of injury? This secondary analysis study of 111 subjects, seeks to identify psychological factors that co-occur at six months recovery status following four weeks of physical therapy. Fear avoidance (kinesiophobia) and depressive symptoms co-occurred with non-recovery. Not answered: Can the pattern shown in the study, be changed, with introduction of other ‘psychologically informed treatment options’? A second study including other options, may speak to the introduction of ‘mindfulness, biofeedback, yoga, counseling or other treatment options combined simultaneously with physical NMS (neuromusculoskeletal) care to produce a longer lasting and more complete physical recovery in patients that plateau. Providers should enquire about stress factors in a patient’s life to see if any yellow flags exist that may impede a more complete recovery.