Alternatives to medication could be first treatment for lower back pain

The professional opinion toward lower back pain has changed recently, making it important for care providers to pay attention to new advisories. Leading medical associations have confirmed this, as a new post from the American Chiropractic Association said. It means that those suffering back pain may need a new approach that moves away from medication, and the care they seek out needs to reflect this.

Leading medical professional organizations seem to prefer alternatives to medicine for lower back pain.Leading medical professional organizations seem to prefer alternatives to medicine for lower back pain.

In this post, ACA scientific advisor Dr. Christine Goertz described the change in thought, based on the following factors.

  • Effectiveness: This is probably the most important point. Dr. Goertz referred to an American College of Physicians guideline which said, among other things, that nonpharmacologic treatment is preferred, at least as a first measure. The ACP said that low back pain tends to improve no matter the treatment, meaning that doctors and patients alike can avoid all the downsides of unnecessary prescriptions by trying other methods first, including massage and spinal manipulation. 
  • High costs: The amount of money spent on treating different back care, both directly and through other costs to the community that aren't as obvious, is said to be staggering. With this much invested in care that may not be the best, there's an incentive to find ways to address the problem and save money.
  • Unnecessary opiod use: The current concern over widespread opioid use makes cutting down on these prescriptions a priority. When medications are used, the source preferred "nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory" agents.
  • Widespread need: Dr. Goertz said that as much as 80 percent of the population would experience serious back pain. This creates a population that requires effective care, and perhaps raises the stakes for treatments. 

The idea of relying less on medication seems to be getting around. A New York Times Upshot article recently addressed the new trends, with pediatrics professor Aaron Carroll saying that noninvasive treatment can best help the body heal on its own.

For lower back pain, it's essential to turn to someone who knows the latest preferences. Following these guidelines can be a big step for patient health, and Bronston Chiropractic offers alternatives to medication from the beginning, but can also recommend medication if necessary.