Try drug-free remedies before resorting to medication for low back pain: ACP

Try drug-free remedies before resorting to medication for low back pain: ACP

People suffering low back pain should try drug-free remedies like heat wraps and physical therapy before resorting to medication, the American College of Physicians (ACP) suggested.

In its new treatment guidelines, ACP said that medicines, particularly powerful opioid painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin, should be used only as a last resort in cases back pain. The new guidelines put more emphasis on drug-free therapies than previous ones suggested.

Another big change in the new guidelines is the removal of acetaminophen (Tylenol) from the list of medications that can low back pain patients should be used as a last resort.

Dr. Nitin Damle, the president of the ACP, explained that a recent research showed that acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not effective for the condition.

Damle underlined that most people with shorter-term ‘nonspecific’ low back pain can improve their condition with simple non-drug measures, such as heat wraps and changes in activity.

When medication becomes a necessity, the patient should opt for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, or possibly muscle relaxants. Opiate painkillers come with several risks, including accidental overdose and addiction.

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