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Brett Sears

APTA Responds to Dr. Oz's Cutting Edge Treatments for Back Pain

By February 10, 2013

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Recently, an episode on the Dr. Oz show focused on care for people with low back pain. During the episode, a physical therapist described many "cutting edge" treatments for LBP. These included ultrasound, Tiger Balm patches, and bumpy balls.

Wait a minute.

First, these "treatments" are not really cutting edge. They have been around for years. And many studies show that ultrasound is not the most effective treatment for LBP. Sure, your physical therapist may use therapeutic modalities like ultrasound or heat, but you should also be engaged in exercises for your back and postural correction to help your situation.

Tiger balm patches and bumpy balls are also probably not the most effective treatments for LBP, and I don't think they are "cutting edge" as the good doctor suggests.

So what does the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) think about these cutting edge treatments? Well, Dr. Paul Rockar, the president of the APTA published a response to the producers of the Dr. Oz show indicating that these treatments are not cutting edge and that patients should be offerred "long-term solutions rather than intermittent, temporary relief" for LBP.

If you have low back pain, you may explore many different options to help your problem. You may see a physical therapist to help learn the proper exercises and postural strategies for your specific condition. You may try inversion therapy or chiropractic care. There really is no one single treatment that helps all sufferers of LBP. You must find the right solution for you.

Just remember, Tiger Balm and bumpy balls are not really cutting edge treatments.

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