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Treat Lower Back Pain With Drug-Free Options

Update Date: Feb 15, 2017 07:01 PM EST

Lower back pain is very common in 80 percent of adults and has been linked to more disabilities worldwide. After systematically reviewing current evidence from various studies on lower back pain, the American College of Physicians has shared their new guidelines for non-drug therapy treatments

For pain lasting less than three months, they recommend heat wraps, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. As much as possible people who suffer lower back pain should avoid costly and potentially harmful treatments such as narcotics.

For pain lasting more than three months, experts recomment streatching and strengthening exercises, tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness techniques such as meditation, to help relieve stress.

According to 2 Minute Medicine, the researchers used various data from Ovid MEDLINE, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trialsamd the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. They analyzed various therapies such as exercise (122 trials), tai chi (2 fair-quality trials), yoga (14 trials), mindfulness-based stress reduction (3 trials), psychological therapies (32 trials), multidisciplinary rehabilitation (44 trials), acupuncture (49 trials), massage (26 trials), and spinal manipulation (61 trials).

If ever the non-drug treatments would fail, anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen can be considered first. If the pain persists even after taking ibuprofen, sufferers of chronic lower back pain can try medications that can dull nerve pain such as tramadol or duloxetine.

Dr. Steven Atlas of Massachusetts General Hospital said yoga and massage treatments are often offered outside the traditional healthcare system. He added "Some of these guidelines may be a shot across the bow to insurers to say that maybe we should be covering them better."

According to CBS News, physical therapist Dana Rose of the Hospital for Special Surgery said by activating the core muscles that should lessen weight on our joints and help minimize back pain. Using non-drug therapies are high recommended as the country is facing an epidemic of opioid abuse.

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