Treating Back Pain: Avoiding Unnecessary Treatment

September 19, 2013: Given the frequency of back pain, one might assume the health care system adheres to the most current guidelines that call to treat the condition conservatively, with over the counter pain medication and physical therapy. But a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that back pain is often being over-treated with referrals to specialists, orders for expensive imaging, and prescriptions for pain medication.
 
In this episode, a physical therapist discusses the findings of this study and describes how the medical community’s understanding of back pain has evolved over the years, from once recommending bed rest to now recommending against it, for example.  He also provides tips for avoiding back pain in the first place.
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