Combating Back Pain Without Opioids

Category: Others/ Misc

Presentation Description

With the opioid epidemic engulfing America, doctors are looking for alternative means for curing any form of crippling pain, especially lower back pain. In the past, lower back pain resulted in frequent and excessive disbursement of opioid medications to patients. Unfortunately, instead of curing the pain, this practice only increased the risk of abuse, dependence and addiction.


Presentation Transcript

slide 1: Combating Back Pain Without Opioids With the opioid epidemic engulfing America doctors are looking for alternative means for curing any form of crippling pain especially lower back pain. In the past lower back pain resulted in frequent and excessive disbursement of opioid medications to patients. Unfortunately instead of curing the pain this practice only increased the risk of abuse dependence and addiction. In a recent development that aims to curtail the abuse of opioids for back pain the University of Minnesota’s Earl E Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing announced the utilization of a 11.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health NIH for exploring the nondrug approaches for alleviating lower back pain in patients. Making use of the grant the Clinical Coordinating Center at the University of Minnesota and the University of Pittsburgh would evaluate the effectiveness of supported self-management SSM and spinal manipulation therapies SMT over prescription medications for controlling back pain. According to Roni Evans one of the investigators associated with the study and director of the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program “Back pain is right in the center of the opioid crisis. We need to take a step back and consider other options which truly address patients’ needs and enable them to safely and effectively manage their pain.” Finding alternative to opioids Back pain is a common complaint among those aged 35 and above. Though the primary cause is the aging of bones muscles and ligaments of the spinal column other factors like poor lifestyle deficiency of calcium and vitamin D lack of sleep and stress are responsible for aggravating the condition. Other common conditions like osteoporosis arthritis ruptured disks abnormal curvature of the spine poor posture at work and home etc. could result in severe to moderate back pain. Other less probable causes of back pain are cancer sleep

slide 2: disorders and spinal infections. In all the instances it is necessary to check with the physician before taking medications. Though there are several alternatives to prescription painkillers they are not as popular as pills as they take time to get results. Moreover they require consistent effort from an individual whereas popping a painkiller is relatively easier. The consequences of opioids are slowly becoming more evident as the nation grapples with an unending opioid epidemic. Some of the alternatives to opioids for back pain advocated in the past have received support from the Academic Consortium for Integrative Medicine and Health. This 72-member organization published a white paper that underlined the way prescription opioids instead of relieving pain only worsen the condition. It also suggested that nonpharmacological practices were highly effective in providing pain relief. In fact certain practices like tai chi yoga and acupuncture therapy have earned the endorsement of the task force in the management of pain. Other effective alternatives being actively explored by the medical fraternity and other stakeholders are as follows: Supported self-management SSM: It is a therapy that helps patients focus on strategies or behaviors to understand the nature of their pain and thereupon formulate action plans essential for living with the condition better. While it does not obliterate the need for medications it ensures that the person is less dependent on them. Spinal manipulation therapies SMT: Traditional practices like SMT which had lost out the race to prescription painkillers are increasingly recommended as a remedy for pain. During an SMT therapy the chiropractor massages the joints and the muscles. As it relieves the pressure on the affected part and reduces inflammation the patient experiences immense relief. Cognitive behavioral therapy CBT: CBT is based on the premise that one can alter his or her perception of pain and minimize it by changing the thought process. For example by instilling positive thoughts the psychiatrist could help the patient channelize his or her thoughts on matters other than pain. Get help to fight pain The key to permanent or long-term relief from back pain involves making certain lifestyle changes. This includes adopting better dietary habits incorporating calcium and vitamin D in diet and correcting faulty postures whether at work or play. A combination of medication experiential therapies and lifestyle changes play a crucial role in fighting any form of pain. A major percentage of the American population is reeling under the harmful effects of prescription drugs including pain relievers and stimulants. If you know anyone battling an addiction to opioids contact the Florida Prescription Addiction Helpline for immediate assistance. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-292-3211 for the Florida prescription addiction help.

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