Choosing Wisely:

Don’t prescribe bed rest for acute localized back pain without completing an evaluation.

Rationale and Comments: Prolonged bed rest (more than 2 days) in acute localized low back pain has not been shown to improve long-term function or pain. Bed rest prescriptions should be limited to less than 48 hours in patients with non-traumatic acute localized low back pain in the absence of traditional red flag signs, including, but not limited to, tumors, neurological issues, and weakness.
Sponsoring Organizations:
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Sources:
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Disciplines:
  • Orthopedic
  • References: • Dahm KT, Brurberg KG, Jamtvedt G, Hagen KB. Advice to rest in bed versus advice to stay active for acute low-back pain and sciatica. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010 Jun 16;(6):CD007612.

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