What is the best strategy to hasten recovery in a patient with acute mechanical low back pain?
It is preferable to limit bed rest to 1 to 2 days or less. Back exercises in the acute setting are not indicated, but referral to physical therapy 3 to 4 weeks after onset is important for instructions in proper lifting techniques and correct spine stabilization exercises. Limited data does not support the routine use of facet injections, acupuncture, or transcutaneous nerve stimulators. Spinal manipulation may provide some relief in the early phases of acute nonserious injuries.