No Meds For Back Pain, Says New American College of Physicians Guidelines
Skip the meds – try chiropractic first.
Low back pain – one of the top reasons for visits to the doctor’s office – is best treated with alternative, natural therapies, according to updated guidelines from the American College of Physicians.
Opioids are one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain relief. But they’re also responsible for what’s been called “the worst drug crisis in history” by the federal government, claiming the lives of over 50,000 Americans just last year. The new guidelines for physicians say opioids should only be considered for chronic back pain when other alternatives, like chiropractic care, don’t work.
The new guidelines could drastically change how doctors treat patients with low back pain. They’re the first update since 2007 and take into account more than 150 studies.
Recommendations were broken down into acute low back pain, which is pain lasting less than 12 weeks, and chronic back pain, which is pain lasting more than 12 weeks.
For acute back pain, the guidelines recommend non-drug therapies first, such as spinal manipulation by a chiropractor, massage or acupuncture. If a patient insists on drugs, the first line of treatment should be nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as Advil or Celebrex, or muscle relaxants like Flexeril.
For chronic back pain, the guidelines again recommend patients first try non-drug treatments like chiropractic care and massage. They also recommend – with less evidence backing them up – yoga, tai chi, core stabilization exercises and cognitive behavioral therapy.
The guidelines warn that opioids should only be considered an option if the doctor and patient have a discussion about the known risks and only if used at the lowest possible dose for the shortest amount of time possible. Because lower back pain is the most common reason non-cancer patients are prescribed opioids, it’s the primary gateway to opioid addiction – which often transitions to heroin addiction.
Shockingly, as many as 1 in 4 patients who receive prescription opioids long-term end up addicted.
Chiropractic should be your first option!
The good news is that new research from the journal BMJ has indicated that seeing a chiropractor first virtually eliminates the need for opioids altogether.
The study, which analyzed over 200,000 adults who’d seen a doctor for back pain, showed that individuals who utilized chiropractic care were 90% less likely to use opioids both short and long-term compared to patients who did not see a chiropractor. That’s a massive difference!
The Bottom Line
While there’s no doubt a time and a place for medication, at Ascent Chiropractic we aim to provide relief from pain by correcting the underlying cause and restoring optimal function of the body naturally.
When the cause is addressed, the effects disappear. Pain is an effect. We’re not here just to address pain or put a band-aid on it, instead we recognize it as a signal of an underlying problem that needs to be corrected.
The Ascent Chiropractic Difference
Part of being smart with your healthcare is weighing the risks and benefits. Thanks for being smart and sharing this with the people you care about.
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that the results we get at Ascent Chiropractic are second to none. If you have friends or family who could benefit from what we do, we truly appreciate the trust you put in us! To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.