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Early Physical Therapy Means Less Opioids

Early Physical Therapy Means Less Opioids

In a recent study published in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) found that early use of physical therapy for lower back pain can correlate to a a 10-15% reduction in opioid use. Such a study highlights the power of exercise, manual therapy, and some of the evidenced-based modalities PTs can use, such as dry needling.

With such promising evidence, why aren’t patients seeking physical therapists (PTs) for many orthopedic and pain issues? First, many patients don’t realize that they have direct access to PTs. This means they can go straight to their PT and skip the medical doctors “Rx” or referral. Second, physicians often like to prescribe medications first before recommending other therapies; medical doctors are specialists in medicine and they receive little training and education in exercise and nutrition. Third, only about 10-20% of patients that are actually referred to PT choose to go! Perhaps these individuals have had bad experiences with PT or feel that PT was a waste of time in prior ailments. Such feelings can be understandable given the insurance industry has squeezed PTs into forming factory-like practices and limiting sessions/visits.

The amazing thing is that our practice offers you an actual solution. Having a cash-based, concierge practice, our team offers direct access with little to no restrictions. Our appointments can be fulfilled quickly and we can work on a variety of issues with various treatments without insurance squeezing our time or scrutinizing our methods. More importantly: the client pays for what they get! Providing our level of service, if patients don’t get better, then they don’t pay. How many insurance PT clinics offer this such guarantee?

The bottomline from this study is that if you have pain seek your PT and skip the pain killers.

Reference: https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2718095