Prescription Narcotics for Low Back Pain: Another Reason For Doubt
About 31 million people experience low back pain at some point in time and it’s gotten so bad that nearly everyone is looking for a solution. So when a new study came out recently about effective drugs for low back pain treatment, we jumped at the chance to share it.
Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory medications is probably better for you than taking a prescription narcotic for your low back pain.
Why might anti-inflammatories be better? Because they work just as well as their more powerful painkilling counterparts.
Here’s a low-down on the study, published last month in the Journal of the American Medical Association:
- 300 patients went to the ER complaining of low back pain.
- One group was sent home with Naproxen only (same ingredient as Aleve).
- A second group got Naproxen plus a muscle relaxant.
- A third group got Naproxen plus a prescription opioid (oxycodone).
When study authors evaluated how well each group fared, all of them reported about the same level of low back pain. So if there is little difference between taking anti-inflammatories alone — or alongside a narcotic or muscle relaxant — what’s wrong with taking narcotics?
- Narcotics are not proven to work for chronic, long-term pain. In some cases they can make the pain worse.
- For a segment of the population, taking narcotics for chronic pain can lead to serious side effects, including addiction.
You’re probably better off taking a relatively safer over-the-counter medication for your low back pain than a narcotic. Just remember taking any medication for your back pain should be just one part of a multi-solution plan that includes things like exercise, yoga and/or massage. And don’t overdo it because anti-inflammatories have risks of their own.
If the usual remedies don’t do the trick for your serious low back pain reach out to us online or give us a call.
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