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Low back pain

      The primary care physician plays an important role in the initial evaluation and treatment of acute low back pain (ALBP). In the present managed care environment, it is doubtful that this role will decrease. According to one study, the primary care physician is the initial evaluator for ALBP approximately 65% of the time and frequently is the sole provider of care [
      • Praemer A
      • Furner S
      • Rice D
      Musculoskeletal conditions in the United States.
      ]. Given the limited time the primary care physician often has to evaluate a patient with ALBP in the present medical system, it is imperative that the physician have an appreciation for the salient points in the history, the essentials of the physical/neurologic examination, the diagnostic testing options, and the effectiveness of the various available treatments.
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