People should try non-drug treatment options like massage or stretching in cases of chronic low back pain before choosing treatment with over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Often, drugs and medication have a place in conjunction with other treatment.
If the pain began recently, the guidelines recommend superficial heat, massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation. If patients wish to take medication, they should talk with doctors about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, or skeletal muscle relaxants prescribed by a doctor. Acetaminophen and steroids are not recommended for low back pain.
However, for chronic low back pain - defined as pain that's lasted more than 12 weeks according to the American College of Physicians (ACP),- these new guidelines apply to low back pain that does not radiate to other parts of the body like the legs. Patients with low back pain that radiates to other parts of the body need further evaluation.
Low back pain is one of the most common reasons people visit U.S. doctors' offices each year. About a quarter of U.S. adults report low back pain at least one day during a three month period.
Most back pain is self-limited. It's common, will go away given enough time and patients can help themselves initially by trying some heat and stretching or getting help with a pain treatment plan.
The new guidelines are based on a review of studies that looked at the use of drug and non-drug therapies for low back pain. Based on the review, the ACP recommends that people who have been suffering with chronic low back pain (non-radiating) try non-drug therapies such as exercise, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, biofeedback, cognitive behavioral therapy or spinal manipulation.
If those methods don't work, other medications, treatments and opioids should be considered, and only prescribed after doctors discuss their risks and benefits with patients.
If you're going to have to use opioids, use them in the smallest dose possible with the least frequency and smallest prescription. The new recommendations are very reasonable.
Anything you can do with these non-pharmaceuticals that can get you moving faster is going to get you better in the end.
Patients should understand that a lot of these non-pharmaceutical treatments can have a lot of success. Consider a pain treatment clinic like Franklin Pain and Wellness Center. Contact Comprehensive Pain Management for more information.
Source: Fox News