A new study, published in JMIR Publications, shows that Joint Academy’s digital treatment for lower back pain (LBP) reduces patients’ pain on average by at least 30% in just three months. The results of the study suggest that the medical outcomes from Joint Academy’s digital treatment for LBP are on par, if not better, than those from face-to-face interventions. The study also shows that patient adherence in Joint Academy’s digital treatment is high, with 69% of the participants adhering to at least 80% of the program.
2593 people participated in the study and the study is groundbreaking in that it is the first of its kind to include elderly participants. The average age of the participants was 63 years and more than 51% of the participants were retired at the time of the study. This is important since LBP has an exacerbated impact on the elderly vis-a-vis younger patients. LBP is more likely to lead to isolation and loneliness for the elderly — a condition that is proven to lead to poorer health and greater healthcare costs in and of itself.
LBP is a big and growing healthcare problem across the US. It is the most common pain reported and the CDC reports that some 80 million Americans suffer from LBP at any given point. Opioids continue to be prescribed for LBP, despite an overall lack of evidence to support its efficacy. Opioids also lead to high costs for payers — LBP is one of the costliest illnesses in the US today, with payers spending hundreds of billions of dollars on lower back and neck pain every year.
International guidelines recommend exercises aimed at strengthening the back muscles in combination with education about the condition as a first-line intervention when suffering from LBP. Joint Academy’s treatment model is based on these guidelines and includes a personal, licensed physical therapist, a tailored treatment program, videos showing the exercises and tools for both the patient and their physical therapist to track the patient’s progress. Tens of thousands of patients have already started the Joint Academy treatment for LBP with great medical outcomes — and at a low cost and without any side effects.
If you’re a payer interested in offering Joint Academy’s treatment to your members, please contact [email protected].
/ Helena Horder, Assistant Researcher and Licensed Physical Therapist