Patients with Low-Back Pan Not Getting the Best Care
Study Reveals Less Than Optimal Management of Low Back Pain
A recent study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported a gap between established evidence-based guidelines and the practice patterns of primary care physicians when it comes to the management of patients with low back pain. The study found that despite recommendations to refrain from obtaining diagnostic imaging and prescribing narcotics, the prescription of expensive diagnostic test and ineffective treatments as first line interventions has increased since the guidelines were published.
The evidence-based guidelines result in better outcomes and reduced cost in the care of patients with low back pain. The lack of adherence to guidelines is a significant concern, perhaps contributing to the over $50 Billion the United States spends on the management of low back pain each year.
The study reported that one of the most important first line interventions supported in the guidelines, patient education and advice to stay active, was only given to 20% of patients. Close to 50% of patients with low back pain were sent for imaging studies and prescribed opioid analgesics. Less than 18% of patients were referred to allied health specialists like physical therapists. Physical Therapy is supported as an effective intervention for acute, sub-acute, and chronic low back pain in the clinical practice guidelines. “Physical therapists have demonstrated a significant reduction in pain and disability for individuals with low back pain,” says Biagio Mazza, Physical Therapist and Owner of Elite Physical Therapy.
"After I sustained an injury to my pelvis 2 1/2 years ago, I endured 18 months of appointments with 6 different doctors and 7 physical therapists, all with no appreciable improvement. I was in near constant pain, unable to engage in normal daily activities, such as loading the dishwasher and picking up the kids' toys.
Last February, my 7th doctor referred me to Elite Physical Therapy. I went from skeptical to hopeful in the first visit. My experience at Elite Physical Therapy was so unlike the treatment I received from the previous physical therapy practices: my therapist spent over two hours in a comprehensive initial evaluation that, for the first time, traced my symptoms to the underlying cause of the problem. Rather than prescribe a generic, one-size-fits-all approach like all the other physical therapists, they custom-tailored a specific program of manual therapy and exercise that targeted my various musculoskeletal issues--resulting in direct and immediate improvement.
I have been working one-on-one with the same physical therapist for the past year, and I can now say what I never thought possible: I am pain-free, my pelvis and joint issues are completely resolved, and I feel stronger than ever. I'm not exaggerating when I say I owe my health, quality of life, and outlook for the future to my therapist at Elite. "
Adele M. Overland Park, KS
Elite Physical Therapy provides compassionate and expert care to individuals with musculoskeletal conditions in a hands-on, one-on-one setting or to enhance wellness and performance throughout life.
Elite Physical Therapy will be recognized nationally in physical therapy and wellness as board certified master clinicians providing leadership in sports specific enhancement programs, injury prevention, community health, and professional education.
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