Patients in the study had "significantly lower out-of-pocket costs — on the average, $500 — when they visited a physical therapist first," says Bianca Frogner, a health economist at the University of Washington.
Across the state of Maine, the number of prescriptions for painkillers is dropping. But some patients who have chronic pain say they need high doses of the medication to be able to function.
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Cessation of breathing is a rare, but serious risk for some children who take cough syrup or painkillers that contain codeine, research shows. Advisers to the FDA say no one under 18 should take the drug.
The prescription painkiller sold under the brand-name Vicodin contains hydrocodone bitartrate and acetaminophen. To reduce the risk of liver damage, the Food and Drug Administration is moving to limit the amount of acetaminophen allowed in prescription medicines.
Carolyn Tuft and her daughter Kirsten (seen here in 2005) were the victims of a shooting at a Salt Lake City mall in 2007. Kirsten was one of five bystanders killed, and Carolyn was left in severe pain.
Courtesy of Carolyn Tuft