Low back pain (LBP) is among the most common reasons to visit a physician, up to 25% of Americans report an incidence of back pain within the previous three months. While lifetime incidence of low back pain in Americans is estimated to inflict as high as 85% of the population.
In the US costs for LBP are between $85 billion and $238 billion. Low back pain often also includes other side effects such as: depression, poor sports performance, decreased activity levels, weight gain and addiction to painkillers.
New research is emerging every day and with this evidence it is becoming clearer that Physical Therapy can often be the most effective solution for treating back pain. Getting PT first has been shown to help people achieve the best short and long term outcomes, save money over the long term and decrease likelihood of having surgery or becoming addicted to medications.
The first step you take when you experience back pain has been shown to have a significant impact on overall cost to you.
A recent study was published in the Health Services Research, (“Physical Therapy or Advanced Imaging as First Management Strategy Following a New Consultation for Low Back Pain in Primary Care: Associations with Future Health Care Utilization and Charges” – March 16, 2015),
Researchers were able to conclude that:
Individuals who initially turned to advanced imaging, such as MRIs, over seeing their Physical Therapist for management of low back pain ultimately spent more money, they were also more likely to have surgery, injections or end up in an emergency room compared to those who saw a Physical Therapist first.
The sample of people in the study who went to their Physical Therapist directly spent an average of $1,871, compared to $6,664 for those who were first sent for an MRI.
In CO healthcare consumers are lucky to have direct access. Direct Access means you can see your Physical Therapist first. There is no need to waste time and money at the Physicians office trying to get a referral to PT for your pain.
If you or someone you know is experiencing back pain that started recently or just will not go away contact the team at RunFree today to schedule a free phone consult with owner and Physical Therapist Dr Freeborn Mondello. We are happy to take the time to hear your story and discuss your best options for getting back to the life you love.