The approach has been changed by doctors. Previously, doctors were prescribing opioids for chronic lower back pain, but now, things have changed. There were new guidelines by American College of Physicians (ACP) that insisted on suggesting physical treatments to patients who are suffering from chronic pains instead of medication.
This guideline confronts the WHO’s tiered medication scale that was favored in the past. The scale focused on medication for treating chronic pain and the medication included opioids as well.
It is better to try various pharmacological options before opting for long-term medication for lower back pain.
It is to be noted that ACP has undergone a lot of studies before reaching a point to set up a new guideline. There must have been something that was found by the researchers that forced them to reconsider the usage of medication for lower back pain treatment. Many doctors prefer things that are done by patients to control pain and improve function instead of waiting for the things to be done for them.
Which treatment processes to try first for back pain?
- Physical therapy.
- Yoga and tai chi.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy.
- Stress management and mindfulness.
- Progressive relaxation.
Which treatment processes will offer relief for a short period of time?
Treatments like ultrasound, low-level laser therapy, spinal manipulation and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are the ones that cause short-term relief. Patients should not waste their money in getting such treatments because they are not worth it.
When to introduce medication?
When non-drug interventions fail to help, then it makes sense to introduce medication into the treatment process. There are some specific medicines that should be used such as meloxicam, ibuprofen, indomethacin or naproxen. Doctors don’t want to hide the side-effects of these medicines, which could be damage to kidneys or GI bleeding.
Those were the 1st line of drugs, and now comes the 2nd line, which includes tramadol or duloxetine. If both, 1st and 2nd line of medication fail to bring any relief from back pain, then comes the 3rd line of drugs, which are highly addictive in nature and can cause serious side effects. Opioid medications, which include tapentadol, oxymorphone, morphine, and hydromorphone. All doctors suggest that when consuming opioids, make sure that the minimum dose is consumed.
But, 90% of the back pain cases are treated with physical therapies and back massage. You can go and visit Back Solutions Clinic, which is situated in Richmond, VIC to find out for yourself whether physical therapies and back massage are effective or not.