Why Are Opioids Still the Most Used Back Pain Treatment?

Why opiods are considered to be the most widely used treatment for back pain

Lower back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. In fact, an NPR poll revealed that over half of people had to cope with back pain at some time in the last 12 months. The most shocking part of the survey was that nearly 40% of patients who went to the doctor for back pain walked away with prescription painkillers. Why is this still the number 1 back pain treatment?

CDC Recommendations on Back Pain Treatment

In April of 2016, The JAMA Network published a special communication from the CDC that provided guidelines for doctors on the prescribing of opioids for back pain and other chronic pain conditions. They recommended the use of use nonopioid therapy whenever possible.

The report highlighted many of the concerns surrounding the use of opioids for chronic pain management including the following:

  • Potential for addiction or abuse
  • Dangers of overdose
  • Gastrointestinal side effects
  • Increased potential for falls and fractures
  • Cardiovascular side effects
  • Cognitive side effects
  • Psychological side effects – depression, in particular

Is it really possible that 40% of patients who sought medical care for back pain were experiencing symptoms that made opioid treatment worth these risks? Other common treatments included injections, surgery, steroids, and over-the-counter pain meds. Are there any natural options available?

Natural Relief from Back Pain

Some of the natural recommendations provided by doctors include:

  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage therapy

Other alternative therapies included chiropractic. However, general chiropractors often do not address an often-overlooked problem with the spine. That’s why we want to introduce you to upper cervical chiropractic.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic and Back Pain

When the top bones of the spine (C1 and C2) become misaligned, the entire back is affected. Changes take place through the spine to keep the head balanced, and this can lead to uneven shoulders, hips, and legs lengths. Where the greatest compensation takes place is often the location pain appears. So while your lower or mid back may be hurting, an upper cervical misalignment might be the underlying source of the pain.

Upper cervical chiropractors use low force corrections to precisely position the top bones of the spine. This can give the body the opportunity it needs to heal and correct the changes that are causing back pain. To learn more, contact un upper cervical practice near you.


Find An Upper Cervical Doctor in Your Areato schedule a consultation today.

Find an Upper Cervical Specialist In Your Area

to schedule a consultation today.

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The content and materials provided in this web site are for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to supplement or comprise a medical diagnosis or other professional opinion, or to be used in lieu of a consultation with a physician or competent health care professional for medical diagnosis and/or treatment. All content and materials including research papers, case studies and testimonials summarizing patients' responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.