July 22, 2013
Re: "Seeking Alternatives for Back Pain Relief" by Gretchen Reynolds, July 18, 2013
Given physicians' increased use of injection therapy and the potentially dangerous side effects of long-term use of prescription medications, patients need a valid nonsurgical option for reducing low back pain and restoring and improving motion.
Physical therapists use evidence-based exercises that improve strength and flexibility, employ manual therapy to improve the mobility of joints and soft tissues, and promote patient education to enhance recovery, prevent and relieve pain, and avoid recurrence.
A 2012 study in the scientific journal Spine1 showed that early access to physical therapy by patients with low back pain improved outcomes and decreased health costs. Another 2012 study in the same publication2 showed that patients receiving early physical therapy for acute low back pain had fewer subsequent surgeries or epidural steroid injections.
A physical therapist's individualized approach offers long-term solutions—not relief that doesn't last. To find a physical therapist locally, please visit www.MoveForwardPT.com.
Paul A. Rockar, Jr, PT, DPT, MS
American Physical Therapy Association
1Childs J, Fritz J, Flynn T, Wainner, R. Primary care referral of patients with low back pain to physical therapy: impact on future health care utilization and costs. Spine. 2012; 37: 2114-2121
2Gelhorn AC, Chan L, Martin B, Friedly J. Management patterns in acute low back pain: the role of physical therapy. Spine. 2012; 37: 775-782.