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Choosing wisely: Imaging for lower back pain

Category(s): Health
Status: Closed
Principal: Ted McDonald
Project Number: P0054
Year Approved: 2020
Year Completed: 2022

Project Description

Eighty percent of adults will experience low back pain, and although few have a serious pathology, many of those people will seek medical help. Even though radiological imaging is discouraged unless a serious pathology exists, New Brunswick has the third highest use per capital of CT imaging among Canadian provinces. Evidence shows that acute lower-back pain is best approached with education, exercise and generally resolves within 4 weeks, with or without imaging. This project studies past trends and future directions in utilization rates for the province, various lower geographies, and generates group specific (age, sex) rates to define who is receiving diagnostic imaging. This work supports an assessment of the extent to which New Brunswick practices are consistent with Choosing Wisely guidelines around imaging for lower back pain. 

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