I’ve been fortunate enough not to have any serious back problems in my life, at least so far. But judging from the personal accounts of a few people close to me, I know that it can be an incredibly painful, complex, and expensive issue to deal with.
Low Back Pain Clinical Management Guidelines is an app intended to help those suffering from lower back pain navigate through all of the possible causes and treatments – no small task, and one that developer Clinically Relevant Technologies has taken seriously.
After reading and accepting a thorough disclaimer, you begin choosing yes or no type questions to navigate through the app’s algorithm. Most steps include extra information or details, such as what you should expect at physical examinations at your particular stage in the process, etc. The app is worded as if speaking to a doctor, supplying advice on how he would approach his patient.
But if you are the patient, I think that makes this app even more valuable – knowing what to expect from your doctor. It also lets you know what kind of strategies and tests to expect when testing for specific problems, including:
- Cauda equina syndrome
- Vertebral fracture
- Infection (i.e. osteomyelitis)
- Spinal stenosis
- Ankylosing spondylitis
As I said, I haven’t experienced back pain myself, and clearly I’m no doctor. However, the information this guideline provides seems solid and highly researched. The format is great and easy to navigate – however, I would like to see a way of saving your current status in the algorithm. Many of the steps you reply to require doctor appointments, follow-ups, and trial therapies, which can take days or weeks to complete. Afterwards you have to start the algorithm over again to include that step.
Low Back Pain contains other useful information, like an acronym legend, other recommendations, and a statistical review. Back pain can range from a simple fix to an incredibly complicated issue, and I’ve seen more than one friend spend months and even years visiting doctors and receiving mixed diagnoses, not to mention wasting a lot of money. It’s a difficult journey to navigate, but this app does a wonderful job acting as a guide.
Low Back Pain Clinical Management Guidelines requires iPhone OS 3.1.2 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch.