New Guidelines for Treating Back Pain
If you are experiencing back pain, you may want to think twice before reaching for ibuprofen or a muscle relaxant.
New guidelines published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggest patients try alternative therapies like exercise, tai chi, yoga, and acupuncture or spinal manipulations (a core treatment in chiropractic care) before using anti-inflammatory medication or muscle relaxants. The survey found that almost 90 percent of the 3,562 adults surveyed who tried yoga or tai chi said the remedies were helpful, while nearly 85 percent said the same of massage therapy and chiropractic care.
The recommendations come on the heels of the U.S. opioid epidemic. For decades, many healthcare professionals have prescribed opiates for pain relief. While prescription pain medication can provide immediate relief from pain, it can also contribute to opioid addiction. As a result, many physicians across the country have started reassessing their practices for prescribing pain medication and a number of states have enacted measures to curb addiction.
Non-Invasive Treatment for Back Pain
So what should you do to relieve your back pain?
For back pain that lasts four weeks or less (acute) or up to 12 weeks (subacute), the guidelines suggests trying massage therapy, heat, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation, or chiropractic care. For chronic back pain that lasts more than 12 weeks, the guidelines report tai chi, yoga, spine stabilizing/corrective exercise techniques, stress reduction, and cognitive behavioral therapy to be effective. The key is to keep moving and avoid prolonged sitting or bed rest.
Whether you suffer from upper, middle or lower back pain, there are many treatment options offered through chiropractic care to get you up and moving, including:
- Spinal/chiropractic manipulation
- Therapeutic exercise
- Myofascial release
- Instrument-assisted soft tissue therapy
- Functional medicine
- The McKenzie Method®
- Active Release Technique (ART)