Frequently asked questions about low back pain

Frequently asked questions about low back pain

Q. Who do I call if I have low back pain?
A. Choose a physical therapist from our list of participating providers, and call to make an appointment.

Q. Which physical therapists are participating?
A. View our list of participating providers.

Q. What action do I need to take with my insurance?
A. Present your insurance information as you typically do for appointments. If you have questions, contact customer service at 503-574-7500 or 800-878-4445, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q. Approximately how much will four visits cost me?
A. Contact customer service at 503-574-7500 or 800-878-4445, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and ask about your physical therapy benefits.

Q. Is this service free of charge?
A. Your out-of-pocket cost depends on your insurance benefits. Contact customer service with questions at 503-574-7500 or 800-878-4445, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q. Can I really call the physical therapist directly without going through a primary care provider?
A. Yes.

Q. What kind of care will I receive?
A. You can expect to have an initial evaluation with follow-up appointments focusing on exercise and self-management. Physical therapy modalities such as ultrasound, hot and cold packs or other stimulation will not be included in this initiative.

Q. What is acute low back pain?
A. Acute low back pain is pain felt in the lower back that lasts for a short time (generally, less than three months). Most people have low back pain at some stage in their lives. In most cases, it will improve within several weeks, but this varies from person to person. Acute low back pain may happen again over time.

Q. What causes low back pain?
A. In about 95 percent of the cases, it is not possible to pinpoint the cause of the pain. However, it is not necessary to know the specific cause to manage the pain effectively or for it to improve. It is much less common for the pain to be caused by a serious medical problem.

What to expect for your visit

  • Once you call to schedule your appointment, you'll be asked some questions about your pain.
  • You'll be seen within 48 business hours or referred to another physician.
  • Expect an initial evaluation.
  • Follow-up appointments will focus on exercise and self-management.
  • If it takes more than four visits to resolve your pain, you'll be referred to your primary care doctor to work on other treatment options.

Low back pain facts

  • Eighty percent of individuals with low back pain have uncomplicated cases that could be treated more effectively through early intervention and self-management.
  • Early results from similar initiatives show a 34 percent reduction in time loss and high levels of patient satisfaction.