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The Influence of Active, Passive, and Manual Therapy Interventions for Low Back Pain on Opioid Prescription and Health Care Utilization

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Structural and chiropractic

Phys Ther. 2024 Mar 1;104(3):pzad173. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzad173.

Authors:

Shawn Farrokhi, Laura Bechard, Sara Gorczynski, Charity Patterson, Joseph Kakyomya, Brad D Hendershot, Rachel Condon, L T C Matthew Perkins, Daniel I Rhon, Anthony Delitto, Michael Schneider, Christopher L Dearth

Abstract.

Objective: The aim of this study was to explore associations between the utilization of active, passive, and manual therapy interventions for low back pain (LBP) with 1-year escalation-of-care events, including opioid prescriptions, spinal injections, specialty care visits, and hospitalizations. Methods: This was a retrospective cohort study of 4827 patients identified via the Military Health System Data Repository who received physical therapist care for LBP in 4 outpatient clinics between January 1, 2015 and January 1, 2018. One-year escalation-of-care events were evaluated based on type of physical therapist interventions (ie, active, passive, or manual therapy) received using adjusted odds ratios. Results: Most patients (89.9%) received active interventions. Patients with 10% higher proportion of visits that included at least 1 passive intervention had a 3% to 6% higher likelihood of 1-year escalation-of-care events. Similarly, with 10% higher proportion of passive to active interventions used during the course of care, there was a 5% to 11% higher likelihood of 1-year escalation-of-care events. When compared to patients who received active interventions only, the likelihood of incurring 1-year escalation-of-care events was 50% to 220% higher for those who received mechanical traction and 2 or more different passive interventions, but lower by 50% for patients who received manual therapy. Conclusion: Greater use of passive interventions for LBP was associated with elevated odds of 1-year escalation-of-care events. In addition, the use of specific passive interventions such as mechanical traction in conjunction with active interventions resulted in suboptimal escalation-of-care events, while the use of manual therapy was associated with more favorable downstream health care outcomes. Impact: Physical therapists should be judicious in the use of passive interventions for the management of LBP as they are associated with greater likelihood of receiving opioid prescriptions, spinal injections, and specialty care visits. Keywords: Electric Stimulation Therapy; Exercise; Hot/Cold Pack; Low Back Pain; Manual Therapy; Needle Therapy; Traction.

Publication Date: 

2024 Mar

OEID: 

7153

Farrokhi, S., Bechard, L., Gorczynski, S., Patterson, C., Kakyomya, J., Hendershot, DB., Condon, R., Perkins, MCTL., Rhon, ID., Delitto, A., Schneider, M., Dearth, LC. (2024) 'The Influence of Active, Passive, and Manual Therapy Interventions for Low Back Pain on Opioid Prescription and Health Care Utilization', Phys Ther. 2024 Mar 1;104(3):pzad173. doi: 10.1093/ptj/pzad173.

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