Low back pain, a common problem, is a major cause of disability resulting in difficulties with function at home and work.
More than 80 percent of Americans experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Jonathan Sylvain, manager of the Hartford HealthCare Rehabilitation Network’s Spine Program, says physical therapy is a safe and effective alternative to surgery and opioids for acute and long-term management of low back pain. The Spine Program team includes experts who, after an examination, can develop a treatment plan for you that focuses on decreasing pain and optimizing functional capabilities through prescribed exercise, hands-on care and patient education.
According to Sylvain:
- Studies have determined that seeing a physical therapist first for an episode of low back pain significantly lowered the probability of having an opioid prescription.
- Early referral to physical therapy for low back pain is associated with lower utilization of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, additional physician visits, and use of opioids.
- Physical therapy is cost-effective and studies have shown that patients with low back pain who consult physical therapists early in their treatment incur lower out of pocket, pharmacy, and outpatient medical costs.
- Physical therapists are movement experts who can assist you with optimizing your functional capabilities and empower you to be an active participant in your treatment.
- If you are currently experiencing low back pain, stay active and do as much of your normal routine as possible. Avoid bed rest for long periods of the day as it can actually slow your recovery
Common conditions that can be treated through physical therapy include:
- Neck, mid-back, and low-back pain.
- Stenosis, spondylolithesis and scoliosis.
- Sacroiliac dysfunction.
- Disc pathology.
- Spine-related sports or work injuries.
The Hartford Healthcare Rehabilitation Network’s Spine Program offers a range of services for patients with chronic and acute neck and back pain. For more information, click here.