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Try Physical Therapy First for Low Back Pain, says Study

Low Back PainLow back pain is a common condition and studies estimate that as much as 80% of Americans will experience a back problem at some time in their lives. Sports injuries, accidents, awkward movements, poor posture, obesity and certain medical conditions are some of the common reasons for back pain.

According to a recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, early physical therapy intervention is the best solution for back pain. Conducted by researchers from Australia and Brazil, the study found that exercise cut the risk of recurrent low back pain by 25 to 40 percent.

The team reviewed up to 21 global studies involving a total of 30,000 participants in order to understand if there were methods that would reduce people’s risk of getting an episode of acute low back pain. The research revealed that any kind of exercise – core strengthening, aerobic exercise, or flexibility and stretching – would be effective. Earlier studies have indicated the effectiveness of physical therapy for lumber spinal stenosis (the narrowing of the open spaces within the spine) and degenerative disk disease (the breaking down of disks in the spine).

Established pain management centers in New York have the right approach to treating low back pain. Both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic therapies are utilized. In reliable centers, physical therapy is a very important component of the neck and back pain treatment plan, which would also include other non-surgical modalities such as pain injections, medication, spinal decompression, chiropractic, TENS, and prolotherapy. Experienced physical therapists work with other medical specialist to develop customized treatment plans based on the patient’s specific condition.

Focusing on physical activity is also important to reduce back pain treatment costs. An NPR news report on this new study says that over the years, the U.S. has spent about $80 billion on spine problems. This staggering sum of money includes the costs of lower back pain treatment, money lost on treatments, imaging, surgery, pain medicines and the cost of missed work days. So according to experts, large-scale studies and trials on cheap interventions like physical activity can help reduce the nation’s health care spending.

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