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12/31/69 07:00PM
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Early Physical Therapy for Low Back Pain Associated With Reduced Utilization and Costs

For Immediate Release Contact: Melissa Petrarca, Director of Marketing & PR Ph: (401) 737-4581 Email: meptrarca@elitephysicaltherapy.com A new study published in Spine shows that …

For Immediate Release

Contact: Melissa Petrarca, Director of Marketing & PR

Ph: (401) 737-4581

Email: meptrarca@elitephysicaltherapy.com

A new study published in Spine shows that early treatment by a physical therapist for low back pain (LBP) was associated with less risk of subsequent health care utilization and lower overall health care costs than delayed treatment.

Using a national database of employer-sponsored health plans, researchers examined a sample of 32,070 patients who were newly consulting a primary care physician for low back pain. Patients were identified and categorized based on their use of physical therapist services within 90 days of the consultation. Those who were referred to a physical therapist early (within 14 days of the consultation) showed a reduced risk of subsequent health care utilization and experienced lower overall health care costs than did those patients with delayed treatment by a physical therapist (within 15-90 days of consultation).

During an 18-month follow-up period, researchers found that early treatment by a physical therapist was associated with reduced risk of subsequent surgery, injections, physician visits, opioid use, and advanced imaging, along with a corresponding reduction in overall LBP-related medical costs relative to delayed treatment by a physical therapist. Total health care costs for patients receiving early care from a physical therapist were an average of $2,736.23 lower.

“I love this study”, says Dr. Michael Nula, owner of Elite Physical Therapy in Rhode Island. “This study does an excellent job objectively demonstrating that beginning physical therapy quickly following an injury or onset of pain not only helps you to feel better quicker, but also saves you money in the long run”.

Nula also says “there has been a lot of research in the last five years or so supporting the functional benefits of physical therapy, however this study is unique in that it highlights the importance of beginning physical therapy immediately following the onset of musculoskeletal pain. Typically people put it off until eventually the condition worsens. We are telling patients about the one week rule: if they have a painful condition that lasts for a week and it doesn’t resolve or show signs of improvement, see their doctor for an examination and ask for the early referral to physical therapy so that they can get better.”

For more information how a physical therapist can help alleviate pain, minimize the use of prescription drugs and expensive diagnostic testing, and potentially prevent painful and costly surgery, visit www.elitephysicaltherapy.com or contact Elite Physical Therapy in Rhode Island at (401) 737-4581.

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Elite Physical Therapy is a privately owned physical therapy practice with locations in Warwick, Providence, East Greenwich, and Coventry. Founded in 2002, and recently awarded “Best Physical Therapy Practice” in the country by Advance Magazine, their mission is to deliver the highest quality physical therapy management with superior service for outstanding results. Each patient is assigned their own personal Physical Therapist who utilizes one-on-one, “hands on” physical therapy and therapeutic exercise based on the newest research to achieve the best results in fewer visits. To learn more, call (401) 737-4581 or visit their website: www.elitephysicaltherapy.com. Appointments are available in 24 hours and over 150 insurances are accepted.

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