Low Back Pain and the Costs
People with musculoskeletal low back pain are a significant percentage of patients in physical therapy and the healthcare market in general. In 2012, low back pain alone cost the US healthcare system 86 billion dollars! This makes low back pain the second biggest cost in all of healthcare behind only heart disease. This means low back pain is more significant (in a cost perspective) then Diabetes and Cancer.
So what does this all mean to you? The average episode of low back pain now for patients who do not try physical therapy first is $4,793 more than those who go to physical therapy first. The cause of this discrepancy is multi-factorial. First, the sooner you get care for low back pain the quicker you return to normal with less intervention. If a person “toughs out” pain for two weeks, then goes to a general practicioner whom prescribes rest and pain killers, they end up on a distinctly different course of treatment. The core muscles begin to shut down, and the pain gets worse. Often, imaging is ordered, this isn’t bad but does increase cost and increase time to treatment. This often delays the beginning of care to cure your low back pain 3-6 weeks!
The solution, try physical therapy first! Your physical therapist is ideally suited to diagnosis and cure your low back pain. Through a combination of advanced manual therapy techniques and focused exercise a PT will help return you to your pain free life style. They are also trained in diagnostic techniques and will refer to a physician if there is a need. Talk to Atlas today about curing your low back pain!