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Chrysler Goes Holistic to Revolutionize Back Pain Care in the Workplace
Date:2/14/2008

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., Feb. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- Armed with the knowledge that low back pain is a prevalent affliction with a hefty price tag, a major automotive company has taken a unique approach to alleviate back pain among its employees.

The program is 10 times more effective and less costly than conventional physical therapy at eliminating back pain and is expected to translate into significant healthcare expense savings.

More than half (55%) of employees who received the intervention eliminated their chronic back pain, compared to 0% of controls at program completion. Intervention participants also experienced significant reductions in disability, stress, and depressive symptoms, as well as improvement in sleep. In comparison, conventional physical therapy produced only five percent elimination of chronic back pain in a separate clinical trial with a similar population.

These findings offer a glimmer of hope after a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that, despite all the money that has been spent by Americans on back and neck pain relief, pain levels haven't improved.

In 2007, Chrysler LLC partnered with Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a Detroit-based nonprofit health plan, and the Henry Ford Medical Group (HFMG) provider network to pilot the "We've Got Your Back" program at Chrysler's Auburn Hills headquarters. This holistic approach utilizes complementary and alternative medicine in a group model in the convenience of the workplace.

Using modalities such as group feedback, guided relaxation and somatic movement reduction (teaching the brain to maintain control of the nerve and muscle system and release over-contracted muscles), the program treats a large number of individuals at one time while minimizing time missed from work.

Chrysler recruited more than 200 employees meeting eligibility criteria to participate in the pilot program. Employees were randomized to intervention o
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SOURCE Henry Ford Medical Group
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