Low back pain is a major public health concern. Americans spend upwards of 100 billion each year to try and ease aching backs. Low back pain is also a leading cause of disability in the U.S. Since low back pain is such a problem, there has been research into ways of dealing with it more effectively. A recent study has shown that early intervention with physical therapy yields positive benefits.
This study examined 150,000 health insurance claims filed in the U.S. from 2009 to 2013. Researchers specifically checked the files of patients who were newly diagnosed with low back pain. They looked to see if there were any differences between people who got physical therapy first or those who received physical therapy later. The results showed a lot of benefits to early therapy.
These befits included an 89% lower chance of needing an opioid prescription, a 28% lower chance of needing advanced imaging, and a 15% lower chance of making one or more trips to the emergency room. They also concluded that the average person who got physical therapy first saved $500 on average. This is when compared to people who did not get physical therapy early.
If you are having issues with low back pain, remember, we are here to help. We can meet with you and create a treatment regimen based on your specific issues and needs.
Source: Frogner, Bianca K., Kenneth Harwood, C. et. al., “Physical Therapy as the First Point of Care to Treat Low Back Pain: An Instrumental Variables Approach to Estimate Impact on Opioid Prescription, Health Care Utilization, and Costs.” Health Services Research. 23 May 2018.