Early Physical Therapy: Modest Benefit in Low Back Pain
Written by Editor   
Thursday, October 29, 2015 10:42 AM

When compared with usual care, treatment of recent-onset low back pain (LBP) with early physical therapy resulted in a statistically significant improvement in disability, but the benefit was not clinically significant. 

A PhD, PT, from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues compared the efficacy of early physical therapy (four sessions over the course of 3 weeks, consisting of manipulation and exercise) vs usual care among patients being seen for LBP in a primary care setting.

"Early physical therapy resulted in statistically significant improvement in disability relative to usual care but the magnitude of the difference was modest and did not achieve the minimum difference considered clinically important at the individual patient level," write the authors.

The study authors note that primary care physicians are often the first point of contact for patients with LBP. The study findings, they continue, suggest that "[t]he potential benefits of early physical therapy should be considered in light of the time and effort required to participate in physical therapy."

Source:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/852706