"Physical therapy is not a subspecialty of the medical profession and physical therapists are not medical doctors; we are a separate profession that provides a unique service that physicians are unable and untrained to provide."

Letter to the AMA from the APTA, Dec 2009

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Primary Care Physicians Call for Exercises to Treat Lower Back Pain

Wiser words were never spoke in addressing the paradox of payment for lower back pain and physical therapy treatments. Read on...
"We physicians should refer our patients for exercise... 
...practitioners should work to standardize treatments...
...and payers should encourage these treatments through minimization of copayments for therapies that have both effectiveness and modest cost," 
...concludes a comparative effectiveness study on the benefits of yoga for chronic back pain.

 The study, published online October 24th, 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that yoga and stretching exercises were superior to education provided by a primary care physician along with a self-care book.

The outcome measure used in the Archives study was the Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire (RDQ).

A seperate study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, published in November 2011, found that functional scores improved with yoga but chronic lower back pain scores did not improve.

I would like to see this study repeated with physical therapists providing the stretching and/or the yoga treatments.

Rather than studying the comparative effectiveness of branded treatments (eg: yoga) we should study the comparative effectiveness of branded professionals.

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Tim Richardson, PT owns a private practice at Medical Arts Rehabilitation, Inc in Palmetto, Florida. The clinic website is at MedicalArtsRehab.com.

Bulletproof Expert Systems: Clinical Decision Support for Physical Therapists in the Outpatient Setting is a manager's workbook with stories, checklists, charts, graphs, tables, and templates describing how you can use paper-based or computerized tools to improve your clinic's Medicare compliance, process adherence and patient outcomes.

Tim has implemented a computerized Clinical Decision Support (CDS) system in his clinic since 2006 that serves as a Reminder, Alerting, Prompting and Predicting CDS using evidence-based tests and measures.

Tim can be reached at
TimRichPT@BulletproofPT.com .

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