Sunday, May 31, 2020 | Last Update : 10:25 AM IST

68th Day Of Lockdown

Maharashtra65168280812197 Tamil Nadu2024611313157 Delhi173877846398 Gujarat1635692321007 Rajasthan83654855184 Madhya Pradesh78914444343 Uttar Pradesh77014651213 West Bengal48131775302 Andhra Pradesh3461228960 Bihar3359120915 Karnataka292299749 Telangana2499141277 Jammu and Kashmir234190828 Punjab2197194942 Odisha17239779 Haryana172194019 Kerala120957510 Assam9361044 Uttarakhand493794 Jharkhand4621914 Chhatisgarh4471021 Chandigarh2891994 Tripura2711720 Himachal Pradesh223634 Goa70420 Manipur6060 Puducherry57230 Nagaland3600 Meghalaya27121 Arunachal Pradesh310 Mizoram110 Sikkim100

Lower back pain? Go for early physical therapy

ANI
Published : May 23, 2018, 5:34 pm IST
Updated : May 23, 2018, 5:34 pm IST

Currently, patients with low-back pain are given painkillers, X rays and, in some cases, told to rest.

Those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription.  (Photo: Pixabay)
 Those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription. (Photo: Pixabay)

Early physical therapy can be beneficial for those experiencing lower-back pain, a study suggests.

The study found that those who saw a physical therapist at the first point of care had an 89 percent lower probability of receiving an opioid prescription, a 28 percent lower probability of having advanced imaging services, and a 15 percent lower probability of an emergency department visit - but a 19 percent higher probability of hospitalisation.

The authors noted that a higher probability of hospitalisation is not necessarily a bad outcome if physical therapists are appropriately referring patients to specialised care when low back pain is not resolved by addressing potential musculoskeletal causes first.

These patients also had significantly lower out-of-pocket costs.

"Given our findings in light of the national opioid crisis, state policymakers, insurers, and providers may want to review current policies and reduce barriers to early and frequent access to physical therapists as well as to educate patients about the potential benefits of seeing a physical therapist first," said lead author Dr. Bianca Frogner.

Frogner said individuals in all 50 states have the right to seek some level of care from a physical therapist without seeking a physician referral, however, many do not take advantage of this option. She said this may be because some insurance companies have further requirements for payment.

Currently, patients with low-back pain are given painkillers, X rays and, in some cases, told to rest, said Frogner. She said seeing a physical therapist first and given exercise is a more evidence-based approach.

"This study shows the importance of interprofessional collaboration when studying complex problems such as low-back pain. We found important relationships among physical therapy intervention, utilisation, and cost of services and the effect on opioid prescriptions," said Dr Ken Harwood.

The study appears in the journal Health Services Research.

Tags: physical therapy, back pain, painkillers, x-rays, musculoskeletal, opioid, health services research
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT