This guideline covers assessing and managing low back pain and sciatica in people aged 16 and over. It outlines physical, psychological, pharmacological and surgical treatments to help people manage their low back pain and sciatica in their daily life. The guideline aims to improve people’s quality of life by promoting the most effective forms of care for low back pain and sciatica.
This guideline includes recommendations on:
- assessment of low back pain and sciatica
- non-invasive treatments for low back pain and sciatica
- invasive treatments for low back pain and sciatica
Who is it for?
- Healthcare professionals
- Commissioners and providers of healthcare
- People with low back pain or sciatica, and their families and carers
Guideline development process
This guideline replaces NICE guideline CG88 (May 2009)
Next review: November 2018
The recommendations in this guideline represent the view of NICE, arrived at after careful consideration of the evidence available. When exercising their judgement, professionals are expected to take this guideline fully into account, alongside the individual needs, preferences and values of their patients or service users. The application of the recommendations in this guideline is not mandatory and the guideline does not override the responsibility of healthcare professionals to make decisions appropriate to the circumstances of the individual patient, in consultation with the patient and/or their carer or guardian.
Local commissioners and/or providers have a responsibility to enable the guideline to be applied when individual health professionals and their patients or service users wish to use it. They should do so in the context of local and national priorities for funding and developing services, and in light of their duties to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, to advance equality of opportunity and to reduce health inequalities. Nothing in this guideline should be interpreted in a way that would be inconsistent with compliance with those duties.
Commissioners and providers have a responsibility to promote an environmentally sustainable health and care system and should assess and reduce the environmental impact of implementing NICE recommendations wherever possible.