Doctors say stop taking drugs for lower back pain and do this instead

Feb 14, 2017

If you’re taking prescription drugs to deal with dreaded back pain, you’re doing it wrong.

That’s according to the latest guidelines from the American College of Physicians published in the “Annals of Internal Medicine” Tuesday.

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According to the new study on back pain, there are 3 types of low back pain: acute, subacute, and chronic. Acute low back pain lasts less than 4 weeks, subacute lasts 4 to 12 weeks and chronic lasts more than 12 weeks.

Folks suffering acute or subacute low back pain usually get better over time, according to the study. So they probably don’t need medicine.

For patients suffering acute or subacute pain, doctors suggest heat therapy, massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation.

But if those treatments are ineffective, patients should discuss taking ibuprofen or other muscle relaxants with their physicians. 

Those suffering with chronic low back pain have a variety of treatment options to consider including yoga, Tai chi, rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based stress reduction or progressive relaxation.

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According to the study, patients with chronic low back pain can also try electromyography biofeedback, which involves a machine that helps sense muscle tension and release it. Additional options include low-level laser therapy, operant therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and spinal manipulation.

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Again, if the treatments prove ineffective, patients can discuss medicines as possible treatments.

Read more about the new guidelines at Annals.org.

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