Here is an interesting column by Karen Garloch of the Charlotte Observer about reducing medical treatment costs in general, but especially in back pain cases.  One of the most common things we see in the workers’ comp world is a back injury, especially in the lumbar or lower back.  This column discusses the efficacy of MRI scans and of conservative treatment for back pain related to disk degeneration.   Prominent local spine surgeon Craig Brigham is quoted as well. 

 http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/11/19/3676492/unnecessary-medical-procedures.html