Acute LBP is defined as LBP lasting less than 3 months. The term subacute LBP is sometimes used to refer to LBP with a duration of 6 to 12 weeks. LBP lasting more than 3 months is defined as chronic LBP. The distinction between acute and chronic LBP is important because their natural history, treatment, and prognosis are different. Traditionally, 90% of patients with acute LBP experience resolution of symptoms while 5% to 10% of patients progress to chronic LBP. Recent studies report that a significant percentage of patients who present with acute LBP continue to experience recurrent or persistent symptoms.
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