50-80% of adults will suffer from low back pain in their lifetime.(1)
Instead of going the emergency room where you may have to sit and wait for hours, see a physical therapist right away. A physical therapist can reduce your pain with manual therapy and exercises, giving you relief without the use of medication. A recent study shows that when people with low back pain see a PT first, had much better pain relief than those who did not see a physical therapist. (2) Those patients who saw a physical therapist for 4 visits as compared to no physical therapy, had lower reports of pain after just a month.
Seeing a physical therapist first can also prevent the use of opioids for pain. As explained in this article from NPR, if you see a physical therapist first for low back pain, you have an 89% lower probability of needing opioids for your pain.
- Arnold, Elizabeth et al.Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 100, Issue 7, 1324 – 1338. The Effect of Timing of Physical Therapy for Acute Low Back Pain on Health Services Utilization: A Systematic Review
2. Fritz JM, Magel JS, McFadden M, et al. Early Physical Therapy vs Usual Care in Patients With Recent-Onset Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2015;314(14):1459–1467. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.11648