New Guidelines For Treating Back Pain, Some Contradict Earlier Suggestions

The American College of Physicians is out with new recommendations for treating back pain.

The recommendations include treatment for pain lasting less than three months using treatments like heat wraps, massage, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. 

Dr. Mustafa Farooque with Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center was a special live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4 to help explain what it all means for those who are in pain now. His interview is attached to this story.

As many as 80 percent of adults suffer from back pain, especially as people age it becomes increasingly more common.

The authors of the new guidelines stress that clinicians should avoid costly and potentially harmful treatments like narcotics. 

For pain lasting more than three months, treatments include stretching and strengthening exercises, tai chi, yoga, acupuncture, and mindfulness techniques like meditation to relieve stress. 

If those fail, anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen should be considered first, then medications that can dull nerve pain, like tramadol or duloxetine.

Given much of the discussion about prescription drug abuse in the country today, these new guidelines certainly can help physicians offer alternative treatments, but ultimately it comes down to an individual physician choice.

Aurora is especially interested in the new guidelines given its Back and Spine program already offer many of these types of services to patients.

It also has several online resources for patients to consider, including tips to prevent back pain.

You can link to that site by clicking here

For more information on Aurora's back pain program click here

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