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Study: Time to PT affects opioid need, health costs for low-back pain

Early referral to physical therapy could reduce the need for opioids and lower health care costs for patients with low-back pain, according to a study in the journal Physical Therapy. Researchers looked at data for 47,000 patients who were newly diagnosed with low-back pain and found those who received physical therapy within three days had the lowest need for opioids, surgery, imaging and specialist visits while those who received physical therapy after 15 days had higher health care usage and costs.

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