NPR

Trying Physical Therapy First For Low Back Pain May Curb Use Of Opioids

A study of patients with low back pain finds that those who got physical therapy first needed fewer pricey scans and surgeries and had "significantly lower out-of-pocket costs" for treatment overall.
Patients in the study had "significantly lower out-of-pocket costs — on the average, $500 — when they visited a physical therapist first," says Bianca Frogner, a health economist at the University of Washington. Source: PeopleImages

Though Americans spend an estimated $80 billion to $100 billion each year in hopes of easing their aching backs, the evidence is mounting that many pricey standard treatments — including surgery and spinal injections — are often ineffective and can even worsen and prolong the problem.

A published Wednesday in the journal suggests trying physical therapy first may at least ease the strain on the patient's wallet in the long

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