Richard Deyo MD, the keynote speaker at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) National Conference in October 2008, has again published data indicting the US approach to chronic back pain dramatically increases costs without improved outcomes. Deyo and colleagues reported in the January 2009 issue of the Journal of American Board of Family Practice the following staggering statistics:
- A 629% increase in Medicare expenditures for epidural steroid injections;
- A 423% increase in expenditures for opioids for back pain;
- A 307% increase in the number of lumbar magnetic resonance images among Medicare beneficiaries;
- A 220% increase in spinal fusion surgery rates.
Tim Flynn, PT, PhD, president of the AAOMPT states, ‘The manual physical therapist is the health care provider uniquely trained to manage individuals with chronic low back pain. We utilize low risk, state-of-the-art care incorporating exercise, manual physical therapy, patient education and the application of the biopsychosocial model in managing this chronic condition. The Academy is dedicated to the application of current models for chronic pain management.’ The recent AAOMPT conference in Seattle focused on current theories and practice of chronic pain management with international experts on pain management.