Ralph E. Gay, M.D., D.C., M.S., Mayo Clinic associate professor of PM&R, discusses clinical practice guidelines for low back pain. What are they for, and do they work? After analyzing a wide array of data, Dr. Gay offers a better understanding of the goals and limitations of clinical practice guidelines as well as the process of guideline development and implementation. It appears that implementing those guidelines can improve outcomes while avoiding unnecessary treatment and reduce cost.