Q: I'm 18 years old with a back pain problem. I keep missing my physiotherapy appointments. I had to drop out of treatment. Is there a program that makes phone call reminders for patients? I'd like to finish therapy, but can't seem to get it all together.
A: There is a high dropout rate for back pain patients in treatment. Some, like you, have trouble making the appointments for a variety of reasons. Others get better and get back to work and daily activities without completing the program. Since there's a high rate of back pain recurrence, patients are strongly advised to finish their rehab and practice good back care for the rest of their lives.
There are even some people who propose giving monetary incentives. This may help patients take better care of themselves. We don't know if that will happen anytime soon, but it can't hurt to ask your therapist for a reminder call for the rest of your visits.
Deidre A. Hurley, BSc (Hons), MAppSc (Manip Ther), PhD, MISCP, MCSP, et al. A Randomized Clinical Trial of Manipulative Therapy and Interferential Therapy for Acute Low Back Pain. In Spine. October 15,2004. Vol. 29. No. 20. Pp. 2207-2216.