It is estimated that 80% of the human race experiences low back pain at least once throughout their lifetime. Fifty percent of the working population admit to experiencing low back pain each year. Each year 15-20% of the people in the United States have complaints of low back pain. Two percent of the U.S. population is either temporarily or chronically disabled by low back pain. Millions of workers suffer on the job injuries annually which costs 100 billion dollars in lost wages, time, and productivity and medical costs.
Low back pain is complex and requires a comprehensive plan with a thorough initial evaluation to identify the source of your symptoms, devise an effective treatment plan and track the effectiveness through regular assessment and reassessment (test/re-test). This provides reassurance that we are always working to achieve your goals in a cost-effective manner.
Are images helpful in caring for my problem?
Medical imaging such as X-rays, ultrasounds, CT scans, and MRI's can be very valuable for identifying serious medical conditions. However, minor findings are of no value in helping to explain the vast majority of aches and pains. Not only are the majority of imaging results not helpful, studies support that they are even harmful from a psychological point of view. Several studies have shown that those who are told of "abnormal" (though irrelevant) findings on their medical imaging have more doctor's visits, longer lasting pain, more disability and a lower sense of well-being. (Kendrick 2001, Ash 2008 and Modic 2005)
Studies have shown that lumbar disc degeneration is present in 40% of individuals under the age of 30 and is present in over 90% of those between the ages of 50-55. (Cheung 2009)
Another study showed that amongst healthy young adults aged 20-22 years with no back pain, 48% had at least one degenerative disc, and 25% had a bulging disc. (Takatalo 2009)
Leading physicians at the department of Neurosurgery at the University of California strongly recommend AGAINST the routine use of MRI for low back pain since they have found NO LINK between degenerative changes seen on X-rays or MRI's and low back pain. (Chou 2011).
Should I See King Physical Therapy First?
YES! Individuals with low back pain for < 16 days and no symptoms below their knee have a 91% probability of success in 1-2 visits with a specific hands on technique that our therapists perform very routinely. (Fritz 2005)
Patients with early physical therapy had a decreased likelihood of advanced imaging, additional physician visits, surgery, injections, and opioid use. (Fritz 2012)