It is usually said people with lower back pain should opt for early physical therapy, but a new study finds the same is not significantly more effective than usual care.
Experts say about 70 percent of people may get the lower back pain at some point of their lives and early physical therapy just provides modest benefits. About 2 to 5 percent of the patients visit doctor.
The new study says early physical therapy was better than no physical therapy, but no significant difference was found after a year.
Details of the study were published in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
A professor of physical therapy at the University of Utah, Julie Fritz, said the difference is not much between improvement coming with time and achieved through therapy.
Fritz adds the best treatment is to stay active and even continue the exercises during painful period. In fact the goal is to keep moving and help the low back pain recover. It happens without assistance.
Director of the pain trials center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Edward Michna, said chronic back pain is complex and is usually influenced by medical, social and psychological factors.
He suggests people should be as active as possible and even during the period of back pains. Physical therapy do help in recovering, but it does not change overall long-term outcomes. The physical therapy also fails in preventing the related disability in long term.
Professor and chair of physical therapy in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, Anthony Delitto, however said physical therapy is not harmful to the body.