This month, Consumer Reports published an article that detailed the new standards for back pain relief. This article specifically references the new guidelines for back-pain treatment as outlined by the American College of Physicians in February.
In the new guidelines, the ACP points out that medical imaging as well as the prescription of opioids have not significantly reduced patients' perception of pain or actual disability. The report also specifically referenced non-drug, manual and exercised based therapies as the main method for back pain relief. What we would like to focus on is that we believe that Physical Therapy should be your FIRST line of defense for back pain, and here's why.
Physical Therapy Relieves AND Prevents Back Pain
Physical Therapy is the only medical specialty that is specifically trained in BOTH spinal manipulation as well as exercise in order to have a major affect on the body regarding lower back pain. Other specialties can provide manual methods of pain relief, but Physical Therapy is the only specialty that is also trained in helping you prevent any further recurrences of pain through specially formatted exercise and education programs, a fact that Consumer Reports, unfortunately, failed to acknowledge.
Physical Therapy Poses No Risk
Compared to the growing lists of side effects disclosed by every opioid on the market that is meant to "help" with back pain, a Physical Therapist can adequately quantify and clinically assess a persons' lower back pain with accuracy and with no proven, statistical risk to causing any further harm or increase in pain through treatment sessions, something that the drug companies cannot say about their products.
Physical Therapy Does Everything Outlined In The Studies, And More!
We've already stated that Physical Therapists both relieve and prevent back pain, but let's tie that into the guidelines a little more, shall we?
The new American College of Physicians guideline for non radiating acute or chronic lower back pain outlines the use of massage, acupuncture, spinal manipulation, cognitive therapy, and movement disorder treatment for the treatment of back pain, ergo, EVERYTHING THAT A PHYSICAL THERAPIST ALREADY DOES ON A DAILY BASIS!
A Physical Therapist is well equipped to provide these services and there are Physical Therapists that are even trained in dry needling as a method to treat conditions of pain within the body.
So why not call and schedule an appointment FIRST with a Physical Therapist? Our Physical Therapy patients in Jersey City and Elizabeth will tell you first hand that you should. If you're looking for a one stop shop, the choice seems clear.
Dr. James Pumarada is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 17+ years of experience. He is the co-owner of Complete Physical Rehabilitation, a Physical Therapy practice based in Elizabeth and Jersey City, NJ.