The Cost of Treating Back Pain

In today’s world, it can be confusing to figure out where to turn if you’re suffering from back pain.  For some, the first step is an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory.  For others, a trip to the doctor and a (costly) MRI.  If you’ve dealt with back pain in the past and struggled to find a suitable solution, you’re not alone.  According to a 2010 Global Burden of Disease study, low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide.  An estimated 60-80% of the population will suffer persistent back pain at some point in their lives.  If you are among the 13 million Americans seeing a doctor for back pain each year, there are a few things you should know.

In Many Cases, Physical Therapy is More Effective than Medicine, Diagnostic Imaging, and Invasive Surgery.  A study in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine showed an enormous spike in the prescription of steroid injections (629%), MRIs (307%), prescription pain medications (423%), and spinal fusion surgeries (220%) between the late 1990’s and early 2000’s.  However, the study also found that in the same time period, there was no increase in the number of patients with back pain nor did patient outcomes improve.

While for some patients these interventions are necessary or effective, many are left with high bills and no relief from pain.  A March 16, 2015 study in Health Services Research followed patients with complaints of low back pain from an initial consultation with their primary care physician through a year of treatment.  Patients were either offered physical therapy or advanced imaging (like an MRI) as the initial strategy for improving quality of life.  The study showed that patients who were sent first to a physical therapist spent markedly less in associated costs than those who first received an MRI.  They were also at a lower risk for future health care needs.

Early Intervention with TexPTS’ Spine Experts Can Save 50% in Medical Costs.  Low back pain patients who receive physical therapy immediately after experiencing pain and stick with their treatment plan spend roughly $3,000 a year in associated healthcare costs.  Think that seems costly?  Patients who delayed treatment and didn’t adhere to their plan spend roughly $6,000.

Bottom line, if you’re suffering from back pain the musculoskeletal experts at TexPTS can help!  Not only can we get you back on your feet at a fraction of the cost, but we can also give you the tools to eliminate your back pain completely and with lasting results.  If you think physical therapy may be the best course of treatment for you, give us a call today at 888.658.8483 and we’ll gladly set you up with a complimentary evaluation!

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