Traditionally, patients suffering from low back pain (LBP) have had medications prescribed and been told to “take it easy”. Past research concluded that most of these patients will be pain free and back to work within 6 weeks of the onset of pain. Unfortunately, up to 80% of them will have a recurrence of LBP within one year. Recurrence increases the patient’s risk of chronic pain and disability, as well as the risk of lost time at work.
Recent research has compared patient outcomes after receiving the treatment above to early physiotherapy
treatment. These studies showed significant improvements in short-term and long-term outcomes in patients who had physiotherapy treatment. This includes fewer lost days at work, fewer physician visits, fewer prescription drugs and a decreased risk of recurrence of LBP. Physiotherapy treatment varies depending on the patient, but may consist of manual therapy, an individualized exercise program and/or modalities to decrease pain and inflammation such as laser, acupuncture or ultrasound.