Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain
Recent guidelines on lower back pain have changed the way doctors are thinking about treatment. The guidelines were issued in February of 2017 by the American College of Physicians (ACP) as an update of similar guidelines put out a decade earlier. The new guidelines are based on a review of over 150 studies over the past decade. Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, wants you to know about current thought in the medical field about back pain and the recommendations when caregivers seek non-drug and non-invasive treatments rather than drug therapies. We’ve always been a proponent of non-invasive treatments at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, so we want you to understand what these guidelines mean to you.
The American College of Physician Recommendations
The ACP made three recommendations in their guidelines. The first one was for patients with acute or subacute lower back pain. They recommend that those patients seek non-drug treatments such as acupuncture, massage or spinal manipulation available from a chiropractic treatment center. If medication is desired the ACP recommends non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or skeletal muscle relaxants.
The second recommendation is for patients with chronic lower back pain. The ACP recommends non-drug treatment and treatments such as spinal manipulation or acupuncture along with exercises such as tai chi, yoga, and motor control exercise. Psychological treatments such as mindfulness-based stress reduction, progressive relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy can also help.
For patients with chronic lower back pain who don’t respond to non-drug treatment, the ACP recommends that doctors try non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as a first-line therapy or tramadol or duloxetine as a second-line therapy. Doctors should only consider prescribing opioids as an option if all other treatments fail.
Opioids and Back Pain
One of the reasons for the guidelines making a strong statement against opioids may be the opioid addiction epidemic currently ravaging the US, according to the New York Times. Dr. Roger Chou, a professor in the School of Medicine at Oregon Health & Science University who led the review team on the study also told the Oregonian that opioids don’t work very well.
“The problem with opioids is that they’re not as effective as people think are,” he said. “There’s no studies proving long-term benefit in terms of six months or a year and most people who are on opioids for chronic low back pain are on these for many years. And the biggest downsides are that we’ve seen a dramatic increase in unintended overdoses from opioids and risk of addiction.”
Chou calls staying active “one of the best things” in treating lower back pain.
Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness Believes in Non-Invasive Treatment
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) praised the new guidelines. “The chiropractic profession has long advocated for doctors and patients to use a more conservative approach to treating low back pain,” ACA President Dr. David A. Herd said. “These new guidelines by the American College of Physicians support a growing body of research as well as increasing recognition in the health care community regarding the value and effectiveness of non-drug approaches, such as spinal manipulation, for acute and chronic low back pain.”
At Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, many of the ACP lower back pain recommendations have always been standard practice for us. We believe in non-invasive treatments such as chiropractic manipulation. We also advocate for a healthy lifestyle for our patients including exercise and diet plans. If you’re dealing with chronic lower back pain, we can put together a plan for you. Contact us today.
Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information of this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.