Digital Rehabilitation for Acute Low Back Pain: A Prospective Longitudinal Cohort Study

July 3, 2022
Clinical Study: Digital rehabilitation for acute low back pain

Study Overview

In about 65% of patients, acute episodes of low back pain (LBP) are not resolved after 12 months, challenging the notion that spontaneous recovery protects most individuals from long-term LBP. In this study, Sword Health's researchers assessed the effect of digital physical therapy on acute low back pain, including individuals at high risk of becoming chronic sufferers. In total, 406 patients participated in the program. We observed meaningful improvements in disability (55%), pain (61%), mental health (55%-60%), surgery likelihood (59%) and productivity (66%). Importantly, we found that individuals at higher risk were not less likely to respond to the treatment, highlighting the importance of multimodal care managed by licensed physical therapists. This study validates Sword’s digital care program for acute LBP as a way to effectively accelerate these patients' recovery, including in productivity. It also shows that their conditions do not need to escalate to worse prognosis, demanding more invasive and costly interventions.

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Portugal 2020Norte 2020European UnionPlano de Recuperação e ResiliênciaRepública PortuguesaNext Generation EU