The American Academy of Physicians came up with these guidelines by reviewing over 150 studies covering the treatment of low back pain (LBP). To me the most surprising finding wasn’t what worked but what didn’t. The research does not show any benefit in using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) in the treatment of LBP lasting less than 12 weeks. This time frame is considered by most to be the acute stage of an injury. NSAIDS are medicines like aspirin, Motrin, Advil and Aleve. You can also add acetaminophen (Tylenol) to this list of unhelpful approaches in treating acute LBP even though Tylenol is not an NSAID.
The first line in the treatment of LBP is spinal manipulation, CHIROPRACTIC CARE (emphasis added). Also in this group of first line choices are massage, acupuncture and heat. Though be careful of heat application in the first days of a back injury. I’ve blogged in the past about the wonders of ice therapy and still hold that opinion. http://drzmainstchiro.com/dr-carl-zaycoskys-blog/entry/ice-vs-heat-how-to-properly-care-for-your-injury-part-1-inflammation-and-congestion-1.html
The study points out that there is a circumstance where NSAIDS use has proven to be reasonable. That is when the above mentioned treatment options don’t work. This is clear . Given the potential side effects and the minimal benefit in helping low back pain NSAIDS are not the first choice.
Low back pain is a common aliment and only a few years ago these recommendations may have seemed outrageous; not that people weren’t using chiropractic care for treatment of their back pain. But discouraging the use of medication as a first step in treatment is a big change in the American Academy of Phycisians guidelines.
There is still more to this so stay tuned.
Main Street Chiropractic
Back Pain Guidlines Part 1: click here
Back Pain Guidlines Part 3: click here