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Physical Therapy and Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common reason that patients visit their physician. Almost 25% of Americans report some incidence of low back pain in the last 3 months. Additionally, if you have had back pain in the past, chances are at some point it will return. Re-occurrence of back pain has found to be around 25% in a one year period.

The good thing is, physical therapy has been shown to be not only effective in treating low back pain, but it has also been found to be cost-effective. In a recent study published in 2015, it was shown that patients who received early intervention with physical therapy had the lowest costs compared to patients who did not go to physical therapy. 1

Additionally, people who received early physical therapy and adhered to their program also received less lumbar spine injections, less spine surgery, and used opiods less. 1

Overall, if you have low back pain, one of your best options is to see a physical therapist as soon as you can. Some insurances require that you go to see you physician first but others will allow you to go straight to a physical therapist, which will save you time and money. You can expect to have measurements taken at your initial evaluation and be given an exercise routine. Exercise has been shown to be effective in treating back pain so your therapist will give you a thorough home program which they will modify overtime to make more difficult. The best thing you can do for yourself and your back is keep moving with the help of your physical therapist.

1.Childs et all. Implications of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs. BMC Health Services Research. 2015; 15: 150.

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