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Low Back Pain: The Top Cause of Disability

About The Low Back Pain Epidemic

Man With Back PainA new survey has shown that low back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide, but most people get the wrong treatment. The international study revealed that the United States is the country where more people are prescribed opioids as a wrong treatment.

According to studies, guidelines and recommendations from top medical groups and doctors, doctors still prescribe painkillers to patients with back pain. However, there are no evidence-based treatments such as exercise or physical therapy that have a limited positive effect. More than 60% of Americans suffering from low back pain are prescribed opioids in the U.S. The ever-growing opioid overdose epidemic in America is being caused by incorrectly using opioids.

The report states that “more than half of all people who take opioids long-term have back pain.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdoses increased by 30% between 2016 and 2017. According to the CDC, opioid overdoses result in around 35,000 deaths per year. In the United States, lower back pain results in 3 million years of productive lives each year. This calculation takes into account both how long they are out of work and how many people who have been affected. These aren’t obvious causes. Researchers wrote that it is difficult to pinpoint the cause of low back pain. Low back pain is more common in people who have physically demanding jobs, are obese, or have mental and physical comorbidities.

Our increasingly desk-bound lifestyles, longer lifespans, and increasing longevity are a lot of the reasons for our problems. This means that our spines will be more worn and damaged over time. These factors are only part of the story. What makes some people more resilient or vulnerable is what they do not account for. According to the World Health Organization, back pain issues will continue to rise and affect more people worldwide in the future. It is especially concerning that people trying to help the problem are actually making it worse.

Why Are These Opiates Dangerous?

Most adults suffer from back pain. It can also cause disability and is a reason why many people seek healthcare. The number of opioid prescriptions for low back pain in the United States has increased. Opioids are now the most prescribed drug class. Over half of regular opioid users experience back pain. Opioid prescribing rates in the US and Canada is two to three times greater than in most European countries. Evidence in acute pain conditions supports the analgesic efficacy for opioids in treating acute back pain.

Opioids don’t seem to speed up the return to work of injured workers, or improve the functional outcomes for acute back pain patients in primary care. Systematic reviews have not found any evidence of efficacy for chronic back pain. Randomized controlled trials are short-term, have low dropout rates and only serve a small number of patients. While opioids may have short-term analgesic effects for chronic back pain, the benefits to function are not as clear. About 30% of chronic pain conditions are not associated with cancer.

The safety and long-term effectiveness of opioids is unknown due to the short duration of randomized controlled trials. Drug tolerance and hyperalgesia could lead to a loss of long-term efficacy. Overdose-related mortality and addiction are two of the consequences of opioid use. Prescription rates have increased in tandem with opioid prescriptions. Constipation, nausea and sedation are common side effects. There is also an increased risk of falling and fractures. Depression and sexual dysfunction may be long-term side effects. Screening for high-risk patients, urine testing, and treatment agreements have not resulted in a decrease in opioid misuse, overdose, or prescribing rates. The use of prescription monitoring programs, more selective opioid prescribing and lower dosages, and avoidance of co-prescriptions with sedatives hypnotics are some of the newer strategies to reduce risks.

The number of opioid prescriptions has increased globally, with the US sales of opioids quadrupling between 1999-2010 1 This is partly due to the undertreatment of patients receiving palliative, cancer, or acute pain treatment. Opioid therapy for chronic pain (including back pain) has also increased substantially and disproportionately in the United States. This was partly due to undertreatment of patients receiving cancer care, palliative care, or treatment for acute pain. The deaths from methadone and codeine overdoses in England and Wales doubled between 2005-2009.

According to US survey data, there was a 6660% increase in opioid use in spine pain from 1997 to 2006. A per-person analysis of private insured employees showed that 42% of patients were prescribed opioids within one year of their index diagnosis.

Get Chiropractic Care For Low Back Pain Rather Than Opiates and Dangerous Medication

Elevate Spinal Care has many ways to help back pain. We will ask about your symptoms and history at your first appointment. Then, we will perform a physical exam and order any necessary tests such as X-rays. We will then create a customized treatment plan for you based on our findings. The following may be included in your treatment plan:

  • Spinal Manipulation & Adjustment- Chiropractic adjustment is one of the most popular treatments. This hands-on treatment involves massaging the spine and applying pressure to it. Chiropractic manipulation is used by chiropractors to pinpoint the cause of your pain and increase your range of motion.
  • Manual Therapies- A chiropractor may use manual therapies in addition to spinal manipulation to treat back pain. Trigger point therapy, myofascial relaxation, and massage are just a few of the options. Each therapy works to relieve tension in the muscles and ligaments around the spine.
  • Rehabilitation Exercise – Chiropractors might also recommend rehabilitative exercises for patients to strengthen their spine muscles. These exercises can prevent injury and ease pain.
  • Lifestyle Counseling and Nutritional Counseling- Chiropractors can also offer nutritional and lifestyle counseling to patients with back pain. They might suggest changes in your lifestyle, including changing your exercise and sleeping habits. They might also recommend ways to reduce stress.

Chiropractic care is an alternative to drugs and surgery for back pain. Contact Elevate Spinal Care and let us help you with your low back pain!

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