Opiates Ineffective for Chronic Back Pain

A Spinal Column

With all of the recent negative press opioids are receiving, it comes as no surprise a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that opioids are not an effective solution for chronic pain.

Opiates Ineffective for Chronic Back or Hip Pain

In this article, researchers from the University of Minnesota studied 240 patients who had chronic back, hip, or knee arthritis pain. Half of the study subjects received opiates; the other half received non-opiate pain medications. Patient progress was evaluated at 3-months, 6-months, 9-months, and one year.

The study found:

  • There was no difference in pain-related function between the two groups.
  • At 12 months, the nonopioid patients had less pain than did those who received opiates.
  • “The opioid group had significantly more medication-related symptoms over 12 months than the nonopioid group”

Previous research has found that about 20% of patients with musculoskeletal pain are prescribed narcotic pain medications for their symptoms, and another recent study found that 36% of people who overdosed from opiates had their first opioid prescription for back pain.

Another recent study found that chiropractic patients are less likely to use opiates for their pain than are medical patients.

From this research, it’s clearly risky to prescribe opiates for musculoskeletal pain. Chiropractic care is a proven safe and effective approach for both chronic and acute back pain.

I’m here when you need me.

Smile and be well,
Dr. Dan

Dr. Dan’s Thought…
2 MILLION
“In 2015, two million Americans had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers…with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers.

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