Not all back pain is the same, so the treatment for back pain shouldn't be the same either. That may seem like common sense but now scientists are beginning to understand the truth behind that idea. A study published in the UK demonstrates the benefits of targeted treatment for patients with back pain.
Researchers divided back pain patients into two groups those that would receive targeted treatment and those that would receive non-targeted treatment. Those participants in the targeted-care group were evaluated based on risk level. They were given different levels of physiological and psychological treatment depending on their level of risk.
Patients with targeted treatment showed significant improvements that those without targeted care did not. Those improvements included: less days of work due to back pain, better physical and emotional functioning, higher quality of life, and reduced disability from back pain. They experienced economic benefits as well; targeted-care patients saved money on health bills by avoiding types of treatment or doctors visits that weren't necessary for their condition.
Without prognostic screening to create targeted treatment, researchers concluded that "many medium-risk and high-risk patients are potentially being denied access to more sophisticated treatments that are likely to improve their clinical outcomes." Talk to your chiropractor about receiving targeted treatment to address your back pain.
Hill JC, Whitehurst DG, Lewis M, Brayn S, et al. Comparison of stratified primary care management for low back pain with current best practice (STarT Back): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet 2011;378(9802):1560-71.