About 60-70% of people will experience lower back pain during their lifetime. That is a significant portion of our population and chances are, you either have experienced or will experience discomfort or pain in your lower back at some point in time.
But what do you do when this happens?
Most of the time, we wait to see whether the pain will resolve on its own. When it doesn’t, we often seek out the advice of our physicians, or in severe cases, end up in the emergency room. And these visits aren’t cheap! In addition, you’ll often have imaging as well, which only adds to your bill.
What if we could skip this part, and take steps towards our recovery earlier, while reducing costs?
Good news: you can! Since Washington is what we call a “direct access” state, you do not always have to visit your physician prior to beginning Physical Therapy. This means you can receive treatment without a referral* from your physician, which ultimately means you aren’t wasting time at office visits, waiting for imaging to be performed, and filling prescriptions (all of which cost money, by the way). Research also supports this, including a study by BioMed Central in 2015 which showed that patients who received early physical therapy and adhered to their training program decreased the utilization of imaging, spinal injections, surgery and use of opioids.
*Some insurance companies still require physician referrals, but we can check on that for you
So if I’m not seeing my physician, where do I start my treatment?
Physical Therapy is a great place to begin! In fact, it should be your first treatment of choice. A study published by World Neurosurgery in 2013 found that there were no significant differences in pain levels or disability between patients who had surgery for their lower back pain versus those who had conservative treatment (i.e. physical therapy). Can you imagine spending the time and money to undergo spinal surgery when you could have had the same outcome had you just gone to Physical Therapy?
This leads us to the bottom line…
If you’re experiencing lower back pain, don’t wait to be seen! Visit our office today so we can begin your recovery faster!