Low Back Pain – New Approach to Treatment

Low back pain is a very common diagnosis that most frequently is treated with painkillers. However, it seems like things are going to change in this health department.

Low back pain is a very common diagnosis that most frequently is treated with painkillers. However, it seems like things are going to change in this health department.

Among the most common and conditions that affects many people nowadays and makes them schedule yet another visit to a physician is low back pain. In accordance with the present-day statistics, about ¼ of all U.S. people suffer from this condition on a regular basis.

Low Back Pain Typology

With regards to the state of the condition, low back pain can be:

  • mild
  • moderate
  • and acute.

The latter can also be divided into three groups depending on the term the pain lasts:

  • chronic ( >12 weeks)
  • subacute (4-12 weeks)
  • acute ( < 4 weeks).

Conventional Treatment Options

Most common pain alleviation option for this condition practiced by all medical assistance providers is conventional therapy that frequently involves prescription drugs.

Surely enough, not all low back pain cases should necessarily be dealt with a pain killer. CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain was specifically developed for therapists to estimate the benefits of medication treatment as well as possible contraindications and risks.

One of the cornerstones of conventional low back pain treatment is the use of opioid drugs in the course of the treatment. The main argument against points to the addictive potential of the latter and overall negative effect of opioids for a person’s health in general.

The other issue is that in the majority of cases conventional therapies often just fail to help and people do not necessarily get better. Instead, the pain fades away over time on its own – and it does so even faster when a person resorts to some very simple set of exercises.

The discussion here, however, shifts to another level. Literally, the first option still stays prevalent as it brings a great deal of profit, indeed.

Alternative Approach

However, steps are being made to move the course of conventional treatment into another direction. Thus, alternative back pain therapy is being closely considered as a more effective and less prone to adverse effects.

Holistic therapies are now on the rise in the United States. And now the American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed guidelines on noninvasive low back pain treatment that are based on the evidence.

These guidelines have been published in Annals of Internal Medicine and are open for all therapist and physicians as well as patients. In accordance with the presented evidence, acetaminophen was ineffective when compared to placebo. Similar ineffective results were registered in cases of steroid therapies.

The following alternative treatments of lower back pain are suggested:

  • massage,
  • superficial heat,
  • acupuncture,
  • spinal manipulation,
  • moderate exercise.

The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is recommended for the cases of the acute pain; the decision is up to a therapist and depends on the case and a patient’s medical history. The same refers to the use skeletal muscle relaxants.

One of the major points behind the guidelines is to make people know that back pain is able to improve over time with no external assistance that involves administration of medications. It is strongly recommended to resort to drug therapy only in cases when it is absolutely necessary.

Thus, any type alternative therapy (be it simple exercise, yoga, acupuncture, or electromyography biofeedback, or low level laser therapy, etc.) is recommended for pains in the back pain as it proved to be more effective and less risky if compared with conventional medication treatment that we all used to.

It just takes a little more effort than taking a pill, but it might be worth trying.

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