A new study finds thats early treatment by a physical therapist for low back pain has been associated with reduced risk of subsequent health care utilization and lower overall health care costs. According to the study in Spine, researchers found that patients who received physical therapy within 30 days of initial low back pain had fewer subsequent medical service usage than those who waited to receive physical therapy.
The nation sample included 32, 070 patients that were newly diagnosed with low back pain by a primary care physician. These patients were categorized based on their usage of physical therapist services within 90 days of the evaluation. In addition, health care costs for patients that got early care were approximately $3,000 lower than those who postponed treatment. Ultimately, the study concluded that patients who received early treatment by a physical therapist experience fewer low back pain related medical costs compared to those who delayed treatment.