Schuylkill County: Back Pain Research Update
In my attempt to share with you some of the most up-to-date information that crosses my desk, there are two articles that really caught my attention:
The first, from the journal Pain, found that even after adjusting for a substantial number of potential confounders, (things that can confuse the issue) prescription opioids (addictive medications used to relieve pain) were associated with slightly worse functioning in back pain patients at 6-month follow-up. 1
The second article has incredibly important implications for the profession, and in my opinion what should be considered among the best practices for care of acute low-back pain. It was printed in the April 2013 edition of the Spine. 2
It found that in a subgroup of patients with acute nonspecific low-back pain, spinal manipulation was significantly better than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac (trade name Voltaren), and clinically superior to placebo.
For those of us that manipulate, these are not surprising research findings. But, I bet they are surprising for you. We can now start to put opioids in a worse category than epidural injections for back pain. (Web MD states flat out that epidurals don’t work.) The new category for opioids is; drugs that make your back problem worse.
Voltaren did help back pain, but not nearly as much as manipulation. If you are having back pain ask your doc to send you to a doctor of chiropractic for manipulation. In fact, you don’t even need to ask for the referral just call, no referral is needed. Why would you settle for a second best treatment for back pain when you can easily get the first best treatment?
As always, watching your back;