Just last month the American College of Physicians issued a guideline in their journal Annals of Internal Medicine recommending that physicians and patients should treat acute or subacute low back pain with non-drug therapies, specifically chiropractic.
How Common is Low Back Pain?
Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for all physician visits in the U.S. About a quarter of all adults will suffer an episode lasting at least a day in a three-month period.
What Does the College Recommend?
For acute pain (lasting less than 4 weeks) and subacute pain (lasting between 4 and 12 weeks) they recommend chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and heat. For chronic pain (lasting more than 12 weeks) they add these to the above recommendations: exercise, rehabilitation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.
What Treatments are Specifically Not Recommended?
Opioids are recommended only as a last resort and only in patients who have failed other therapies, as they are associated with substantial harms, including the risk of ddiction or accidental overdose.
What’s the Take Home Message
This is another study in a trend going back to 1993 when a federal organization, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, recommended chiropractic care for low back pain.
Yours for Better Health:
Jon Mills, DC