Low back pain affects at least 80% of us at some time in our lives. Back pain is among the top 5 reasons people in the US seek medical care. Unfortunately, Physical Therapy is only ordered about 16% of the time when people seek medical treatment for back pain. There are several reasons that PT is the best option for the first treatment for back pain. First, early Physical Therapy treatment is associated with decreased cost. Research shows that having Physical Therapy first compared to having advanced imaging such as a MRI first is associated with decreased cost (on average $4,793) (1). Secondly, having Physical Therapy early on is associated with better outcomes. Research shows that for back pain, early Physical Therapy treatment is strongly associated with decreased epidural steroid injections, decreased number of physician office visits, and decreased lumbar surgery rates (2).
So what can Physical Therapy do for your back pain? Your Physical Therapist will evaluate you and tailor a treatment program specific to your needs. Our bodies are designed to heal, and gentle movement can speed the recovery process. Physical therapists will teach you exercises to get you moving, and perform manual therapy (hands-on) treatment to help ease your pain and get you back to normal. Your Physical Therapist will also educate you on your pain, and strategies to use during everyday life to speed up your recovery. If you are experiencing back pain, find an ApexNetwork Physical Therapy location near you to set up an appointment and get on the road to recovery!
- Fritz JM1, Brennan GP, Hunter SJ. Physical Therapy or Advanced Imaging as First Management Strategy Following a New Consultation for Low Back Pain in Primary Care: Associations with Future Health Care Utilization and Charges. Health Serv Res. 2015 Mar 16.
- Alfred Campbell Gellhorn, M.D., Leighton Chan, M.D., Brook Martin, M.P.H, and Janna Friedly, M.D. Management Patterns in Acute Low Back Pain: the Role of Physical Therapy. Spine. 2012 Apr 20; 37(9): 775–782.