Rating scales for low back pain

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IntroductionDuring the past decades several rating scales have been developed to assess the functional status of patients with low back pain.MethodsWe performed a search using the keywords ‘spine’ in combination with ‘scoring system’, ‘scale’, ‘scores’, ‘outcome assessment’, ‘low back pain’ and ‘clinical evaluation’.ResultsTwenty-eight scoring systems are currently available for the evaluation of low back pain. Each of them evaluates low back pain using specific variables. All these scoring systems are presented.DiscussionAlthough many scoring systems have been used to evaluate the back function, we are still far from a single outcome evaluation system that is reliable, valid and sensitive to clinically relevant changes, taken into account both patients' and physicians' perspective and is short and practical to use.ConclusionFurther studies are required to evaluate the reliability, validity and sensitivity of the low back pain scoring systems used in the common clinical practice.

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