Sword Health, a digital musculoskeletal (MSK) solution, releases clinical study results that suggest significant improvement in health-related outcomes for patients with Acute Low Back Pain. 

The study, published in the Journal of Pain Research, focused on clinical outcomes in members going through Sword’s care programs for acute low back pain. This is the first real-world study focusing specifically on the impact of an integrated multimodal digital care program for low back pain conditions, which integrates exercise, education on back pain, and tools for mental strength and self-management. 

Low back pain (LBP) has a very high lifetime prevalence (70-80%) and is a leading cause of absenteeism and costs. In up to  65% of patients, acute episodes of LBP are not resolved after 12 months, challenging the notion that spontaneous recovery protects most individuals from long-term LBP. Therefore, preventing progression to chronic pain is a priority. Digital care programs can be key to address current limitations in accessing care, related with availability of providers, as well as time and travel constraints. In the United States between 12% and 14% of the adult population age 18 and older visit their physician with complaints of back pain.

Clinical Study Insights

The clinical study included 406 patients in the program. Substantial improvements were observed in disability (55%), pain (61%), mental health – significant decrease in depression (55%) and anxiety (59%), surgery likelihood (59.1%) and productivity (65%), which were associated with high engagement and satisfaction levels. 

The study also sought to understand if members at higher risk of becoming chronic pain sufferers were more or less likely to respond to treatment. To this effect, members were divided into 3 categories, based on their baseline pain levels (0-3; 3-6; 7-10). Importantly, the study showed that individuals at higher risk of chronification (with higher initial pain) were not less likely to respond.

This study validates Sword’s digital care programs for acute LBP as a way to effectively tackle this problem, even in individuals at high risk of becoming chronic sufferers, highlighting the importance of multimodal care managed by physical therapists. 

With this study, Sword further reinforces the evidence around its digital programs for acute MSK conditions. Another clinical study from Sword Health, published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders in January, revealed equally impressive outcomes in patients going through Sword’s digital care programs for acute conditions involving several body areas, along with leading adherence and retention rates. 

Sword Health now has more than 200 clients including leading companies such as Pepsi, Dell, State Farm, Cardinal Health, Danaher and Cisco.  

The company has more than 470 employees globally and is hiring significantly until the end of the year. 

[Source(s): Sword Health, GlobeNewswire]

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