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Back pain, physiotherapy and the two week ‘critical’ window…..

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The conclusion of a new piece of research into back pain management and physiotherapy has found that patients should receive physiotherapy within two weeks of onset to optimise their clinical benefits.

The study published in 2012 in the medical journal, Spine, was conducted by physiotherapist, Julie Fritz at the University of Utah. A major review of over 32,000 people with newly diagnosed low back pain found that those referred by their GP to physiotherapy within 14 days were half as likely to need surgery or steroid injections as part of their management. The additional economic benefits of the two week window highlighted the reduction of costs with recurring visits and other associated costs (both individually and on the public health system).

Currently the NICE (National Institute for Clinical Excellence) guidelines for the management of back pain recommend manual therapy treatment, structured exercise, acupuncture and the use of painkillers; however there are no suggested timescales or recommendations for when a patient should be seen by a physiotherapist.

This new research has added a valuable piece to the jigsaw of back pain management puzzle by highlighting the significant impact of early intervention physiotherapy in the management of back pain patients.

So if you are experiencing back pain, why wait to see a physiotherapist? Optimise your recovery and long term prognosis and book your appointment now!