A recent study (news article link) “suggests that if people who suffer from things like lower back pain choose to do physical therapy, rather than initially taking painkillers, there’s a nearly 90 percent probability they won’t eventually need any of that type of medication.”
The underline is mine because the vast majority of people (including physicians) use medication as their go-to treatment for pain. Medication can be very helpful, don’t get me wrong. But we do have a problem with opioid overuse in the United States, all while more and more studies show that they are not as effective as we would like and as we have been told.
The fact that going to your physical therapist is so effective for relieving pain that nearly 90% of people don’t even need medication should be something the whole medical community should be shouting from rooftops. Possible side effects of opioids include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence or addiction, and even death. The worst side effects my patients ever get is occasional muscle soreness, which everyone gets when working out a muscle that hasn’t been worked in a long time, even when going to the gym.
Finally, it helps to hear a sad fact. Low back pain is one of the most common conditions that leads to use and expense within the healthcare system. It is the 3rd most burdensome condition in terms of mortality and poor health, behind ischemic heart disease and COPD. It is also the most common condition treated by outpatient physical therapists and there is a ton of research demonstrating PT’s effectiveness.
In spite of this, only 7% of people visiting their physician for low back pain ever get a referral to a physical therapist!
So, if you have back pain, here’s your homework… GET TO YOUR PHYSICAL THERAPIST!
I’m going to offer you 3 things today.
Click here to download my free eBook with tips to start getting your back feeling better.
If you want, I’ll offer a free phone consult to see if we can help.
Finally, I offer a limited number of free Discovery Visits every week.