APTA Responds to Forbes.com Article on Chronic Pain

May 27, 2009

Dear Editor:

In "Eight Effective Pain-Relieving Methods" by Rebecca Ruiz, readers are encouraged to pursue several strategies for pain relief: medication, operations and injections, physical therapy, and counseling.

A review article published in the February, 2009 Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that in most cases of symptomatic lumbar degenerative disc disease, a common cause of low back pain (LBP), the most effective treatment is physical therapy combined with anti-inflammatory medications.

The review indicates that in most patients with low back pain, symptoms resolve without surgical intervention, with physical therapy and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs being the "cornerstones" of non-surgical treatment.

Strengthening core muscles, including the abdominal wall and lumbar musculature, and exercise and manual therapy have been shown to benefit many patients. Patient education on using appropriate body mechanics is also helpful.

Learn more about conditions physical therapists treat and find a physical therapist in your area at www.moveforwardpt.com.

Yours sincerely,

Emilio J. Rouco
Director, Public Relations and Marketing
American Physical Therapy Association