The data show that back pain does get better but also that it tends to recur, said physiatrist DJ Kennedy, MD, in a recent conversation with Patient Care.®
He points to this potential for recurrence as one reason he recommends that primary care clinicians think of referral to physical therapy early in the course of an episode of back pain. Kennedy, president-elect of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, emphasized that the PM&R specialists can empower patients early in their recovery with tools that may help make recurrence of back pain less likely.
DJ Kennedy, MD, is president-elect of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and professor in and chair of physical medicine and rehabilitation at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville, TN, where his practice focuses on nonoperative and interventional spine care. He has served as a senior editor for the journal PM&R, on the editorial board for Pain Medicine, and as a deputy editor for The Spine Journal. Kennedy also is current president of the Spine Intervention Society.