Doctors have begun a new study that may be showing promising results for new sufferers of lower back pain, while also curbing health care cost. New research has shown that patients who have just recently began to suffer from lower back pain, after passing certain screening measures, are seeing a greater improvement in their recovery if they are entered into physical therapy rapidly (within 72 hours of their first visit). While initially begun with only patient recovery in mind, the study has also shown marked decrease in heath care cost due to the lower need of x-rays, injections or other costly tests/treatments that are more commonly needed by those who are not admitted rapidly into physical therapy.
- During the initial screening, the physical therapist looks for any red flags that will need the spine specialist’s immediate attention.
- Since this spine research team initiated the RAP a little over one year ago, 93 patients have enrolled.
- “The next step would be to take a closer look at the reduction of healthcare cost with RAP, which is a significantly more complicated metric to evaluate.”
“”Initially we set off to evaluate the success of rapid access to physical therapy in regards to improvement of low back pain and patient satisfaction, but we noted less frequent utilization of radiographs, MRIs and injections in these patients — leading us to believe this protocol has the ability to reduce healthcare costs”