APTA Responds to HealthDay.com Article on Chronic Low Back Pain

July 12, 2011

Dear Editor:

In "Study Questions Chiropractic’s Impact on Back Pain" by Maureen Salamon readers should know that there is evidence that physical therapist intervention is effective for management of acute low back pain, thereby helping to prevent an acute episode from turning into a chronic condition.

When pain persists for four weeks or more, there is a greater likelihood that a chronic condition will develop. Through appropriate exercise and hands-on interventions like spinal manipulation, physical therapists are able to get people better, faster. Retraining the core muscles, including the abdominal wall and lumbar musculature, as well as exercise and manual therapy have been shown to benefit many patients.

A study in the journal Spine (July 15, 2008) reported that patients who receive physical therapy for low back pain are less likely to seek additional medical care up to one year following treatment, making physical therapy a potentially more cost-effective approach.

In today's challenging economic times, it is important for consumers to know that physical therapist intervention can be an effective, more affordable, conservative solution for treatment of back pain.

Yours sincerely,

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