This is starting to look like a trend. Once more we have research that shows that less medical intervention is often the best approach. The Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, just published a study comparing the benefits of physical therapy with simply waiting for healing to occur. 200 patients with low back pain participated in the study. 100 of the patients got PT. 100 did not. After three months, the group that got PT was modestly better than the other group. At the one-year mark there was no difference at all between how well the two sets of patients had recovered. This study looked at chronic back pain, not sudden-onset pain. This latter symptom could indicate a serious pathology, such as infection. Notably, less than 1% of people with back pain fall into this category. For those people with ordinary back pain, it looks like the best approach is to simply wait to heal. The more we learn, the more it looks like Mother Nature and Father Time are the best healers out there. And you don't even need insurance.