Reasons to See a PT First for Lower Back Pain
By Jaclyn Caddy, Physical Therapist and Clinic Director with Ivy Rehab Network Clinic Spectrum Physical Therapy in Culpeper, Virginia.
With the growing awareness of the opioid epidemic occurring nationwide, there is also a growing body of evidence that physical therapy offers a great first line of defense against the various types of lower back pain (LBP). The effectiveness of physical therapy for lower back pain also offers additional benefits, other than the therapeutic exercise component.
Save Money: see a licensed physical therapist first for lower back pain
Trying forms of passive physical therapy or active physical therapy first could save money and dramatically reduce the chance of receiving an opioid prescription to manage chronic pain down the road. Researchers have found that patients with LBP who received care from a licensed physical therapist first experienced lower out-of-pocket, pharmacy, and outpatient costs after 1 year. Patients also reduced their likelihood of receiving an opioid prescription by 87% compared with patients who never visited a physical therapist. The early physical therapy group also was associated with a 28% lower probability of having imaging services and 15% lower odds of making a visit to an emergency department to address the acute pain or a resulting injury.
Physical Therapists Get to the Root of Lower Back Pain
Physical therapists provide care that aims to resolve low back pain by addressing musculoskeletal causes first, such as trauma to the spinal nerves, the structure of the vertebra, intervertebral disc, or even abdominal muscles. If this problem does not get resolved by first focusing on correcting body mechanics through passive or active physical therapy, patients may be referred appropriately for more specialized care. The public may not know that most states have direct access provisions for physical therapy treatment. This means that a physician referral is not necessary for a patient to begin physical therapy treatment. This makes it easier for patients to receive the more effective, cost-effective care that early physical therapy can offer. Don’t wait, try physical therapy for lower back pain today!
October is National Physical Therapy Month and we are here to help with safe, effective care for your lower back pain. If you’re struggling with lower back pain and don’t want to use opioids, contact your local Ivy Rehab Network clinic for more information on therapies that can help you heal from or prevent further injury.