When I started having low back pain, I went to my doctor and a physical therapist. I got better quickly, but my daughter says that it’s because I wanted to get well … not because of anything they did to help me. Is this possible?
Patient’s beliefs about health care are a strong factor in treatment results. Researchers have shown that this occurs in a wide range of patients and settings. Sometimes, it only affects a few patients while at other times, a large number of patients are helped. The reasons for this are unknown. A new study from the University of California (Los Angeles) looked at four groups of low back pain patients. The patients received medical care with and without physical therapy and chiropractic care with and without physical modalities. Modalities included heat, cold, ultrasound, and electrical muscle stimulation. Patients in the physical therapy group had the best outcome. The authors of the study think this is because patients in physical therapy got the most attention. Patients were told what to expect in treatment. They also received education about back care.