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Listening Time — 18:14

If you're an adult, you have likely experienced back pain. Given the condition's frequency, one might assume the health care system adheres to the most current guidelines that call to treat back pain conservatively, with solutions like physical therapy and over-the-counter medication. Alas, a recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that back pain is often over-treated, with referrals to specialists, orders for expensive imaging, and prescriptions for pain medication.

In this episode, physical therapist Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, discusses the findings of this study and describes how the medical community's understanding of back pain has evolved over the years — from once recommending bed rest to now recommending against it, for example. He also provides tips for avoiding back pain in the first place.

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Read more about back pain.

Eric Robertson

Eric Robertson, PT, DPT, OCS, FAAOMPT, is an assistant professor of physical therapy at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, where he teaches musculoskeletal, pharmacology, and radiology courses, in addition to serving as faculty in their Fellowship in Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapy. Robertson's  research interests lie in exploring low back pain in terms of resource utilization and the link between low back and hip pain. Robertson's work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals and on popular health websites.

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