New Back Pain Therapies

At our clinic, our Tysons, VA back pain doctor stays up to date on all the most recent medical news to give our patients the best treatment possible. A new therapy for back pain is taking the forefront of medicine: cognitive functional therapy (CFT) is a promising approach for managing chronic, disabling low back pain. Developed by Peter O’Sullivan, CFT is a patient-centered therapy that targets cognitions, emotions, and movements related to pain. The RESTORE study, a Phase 3 clinical trial, compared the effectiveness of CFT to usual care for chronic low back pain.

The study included adults with chronic low back pain who were divided into three groups: usual care, CFT only, and CFT with biofeedback. Participants in the CFT groups received personalized coaching sessions focused on reconceptualizing pain, graded exposure to movements, and lifestyle changes. Both CFT groups showed significant improvements in pain-related physical activity limitation compared to usual care.

Interestingly, there was little difference in outcomes between the CFT only and CFT with biofeedback groups, suggesting that additional movement information via biofeedback did not provide added benefit. Furthermore, the CFT intervention was found to be much less expensive than usual care, primarily due to improvements in productivity.

The lead author of the study emphasized the significance of the study’s findings, highlighting the sustained effects of CFT on chronic low back pain, even among patients with significant disabilities and comorbidities. However, challenges to adopting this approach include clinicians’ competence and confidence in addressing psychosocial factors, time constraints, and a shift away from passive therapies.

Moving forward, implementation studies are needed to assess the scalability of CFT within diverse health systems and support the creation of self-sustaining communities of CFT practice. Adequate funding for treatments like CFT is essential to ensure that clinicians have the resources and time to provide this effective care for chronic low back pain sufferers.

As research on cognitive functional therapy (CFT) continues to evolve, back pain doctors will leverage current proven treatments to effectively help their patients manage and alleviate back pain. While CFT shows promise, healthcare providers utilize current evidence-based approaches that have demonstrated efficacy in treating back pain. For example, back pain specialists can educate patients about the causes and mechanisms of back pain, empowering them to take an active role in their recovery. Teaching self-management strategies, such as proper posture, body mechanics, and ergonomics, can help patients prevent exacerbations of their pain and improve their overall well-being.

Prescribing tailored exercise programs has been shown to be effective in reducing pain and improving function in individuals with back pain. Back pain specialists can recommend specific exercises targeting core strength, flexibility, and stabilization to address underlying musculoskeletal imbalances and promote spinal health. In addition, techniques such as spinal manipulation, mobilization, and massage therapy can provide short-term relief from back pain by reducing muscle tension, improving joint mobility, and enhancing circulation. Those trained in manual therapy can incorporate these techniques into treatment plans to alleviate acute symptoms and facilitate recovery.

If you are experiencing back pain, reach out to our specialists at AmeriWell Clinics who can determine what is causing your pain and how to overcome it with specialized, cutting edge techniques.