A 37-year-old man reports he has had pain in his lower back for the past month. The pain is worse when he gets up in the morning, when it is associated with stiffness in the lower back. The patient has a history of episodes of low back pain that have typically occurred after vigorous sports activities. His medical history is otherwise unremarkable; he has not previously sought medical care for the pain. Physical examination shows that the patient's range of motion is limited on lumbar forward bending, and there is tenderness on palpation of the lower back. There are no neurologic deficits. How would you evaluate and treat this patient?
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