Over Treating Chronic Back Pain: A US Healthcare Failure

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Medical experts agree that the traditional methods of treating back pain, including the use of medications, surgery and injections, simply lead to higher costs for patients and less favorable outcomes. In the 2009 Journal of American Board of Family Practice, a well-respected scholarly publication, Dr. Richard Deyo reported that these medical interventions have dramatically increased over the last 12 years, with an astounding 629% increase in Medicare claims for steroid injections and a 423% increase in expenditures for opioids used to relieve back issues

Deyo and his colleagues found that there are specific issues related to these treatments that prevent them from being successful, noting that the approaches typically aren’t a permanent or even long-term fix for most patients with chronic back pain. In spite of this, things like injections and medications are presented as a cure-all for a medical condition that often has many different underlying muscular and other issues beneath it. As there is no perfect solution that will solve all chronic back pain issues, Deyo suggests that taking a strategic, multi-pronged approach to treating chronic back pain is the way to go:

“Chronic back pain may benefit from sustained commitment from health care providers, involvement of patients as partners in their care, education in self-care strategies, coordination of care, and involvement of community resources to promote exercise, provide social support, and facilitate a return to work.”

Many agree that physical therapists are uniquely trained to manage individuals using medical exercise therapy, manual physical therapy for lower back pain, patient education and the application of the biopsychosocial model.  These are low risk and have evidence in the literature to support their use. One of the most important aspects to this model is teaching people about pain, and how to manage their stress that influences their pain response.

Indeed, as the treatment focus for back pain moves into a more therapy-oriented and full circle approach, physical therapists are here to help, with alternatives to drugs, surgery and painful injections.

Are you ready to finally get the relief you deserve from chronic back pain and other painful conditions? Let us show you how to manage and treat your chronic back pain with a full assessment and a safe and effective treatment plan that is designed to help you achieve long-term results. Our personalized services and knowledge about the best ways to manage and relieve your symptoms are designed to get you back to the activities you love the most in life, without the need for invasive medical procedures and addictive medications that don’t solve the underlying issues. Contact Total Motion Therapy today to get started.


By |2020-02-16T15:30:01-05:00January 26th, 2009|News & Articles|0 Comments