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The February Research Report from the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy titled The Influence of Patient Choice of First Provider on Costs and Outcomes: Analysis From a Physical Therapy Patient Registry studied the use of direct access to treat neck and back pain with physical therapy as the first method of care. 

 The retrospective study found that the intial patient choice to begin care with a physical therapist for neck or back pain resulted in lower cost of care over the next year, and improvements in patient outcomes. Read the full article from the JOSPT here