Lower back pain is one of the most common reasons for a GP visit and is the worlds leading cause of disability. It has a significant impact on quality of life, emotional health, return to work, and can potentially have huge costs associated with it. Thankfully, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has developed new medical guidelines for the treatment of low back pain, focused primarily on improving pain and function.
According to their research, lower back pain is best treated with conservative, natural and psychological therapies first. The new guidelines state that stronger medications should only be considered for chronic lower back pain when conservative treatments fail to provide relief. Despite opioid medications being a source of increasing addiction and dependency, they unfortunately remain one of the most commonly prescribed medications for pain relief by GP's.
These new guidelines for treating back pain address both short-term and long-term pain, with both cases suggesting to trial non-drug therapies first, such as chiropractic.
For short-term pain (also known as 'acute pain'), examples of treatment include spinal manipulation by a chiropractor, massage and heat therapies.
For long-term pain (also known as 'chronic pain'), in addition to chiropractic treatment and massage, they also include exercise, rehabilitation therapy, acupuncture and psychological treatments (stress management and reduction).
For more information on the types of treatments we provide at Waters Family Chiropractic, check out our techniques page.
Only if these conservative treatments fail to provide any relief should medications be used, starting with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, i.e. Ibuprofen). At Waters Family Chiropractic, we always suggest co-management of your symptoms with your family GP.