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Your Healthy Family: Where to Begin Treating Back Pain

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Lower back pain is a common complaint among adults. People often want a quick fix, but pills aren’t always the answer. Lower back pain is a common complaint among adults. People often want a quick fix, but pills aren’t always the answer.
COLORADO SPRINGS -

Lower back pain is a common complaint among adults. People often want a quick fix, but pills aren’t always the answer.  In fact, recent guidelines recommend starting with non-invasive treatments like yoga, massage and acupuncture.  Cleveland Clinic’s Santhosh Thomas, D.O. says a little patience doesn’t hurt either.

“Yoga is going to require several sessions of it before your flexibility is noted,” said Dr. Thomas.  “Acupuncture, traditionally anywhere from two to six sessions before you start seeing some results. Massage is depending on how much and where they’re doing, as well as how long you’ve had the injury.”

The guidelines indicate that most cases of lower back pain will improve over time, regardless of Treatment.  They recommend avoiding narcotics and steroids when possible and instead use heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic care.  If medicine is necessary, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and muscle relaxants should be considered, as long as they are approved by a doctor.

For new back pain, pill-free treatment that incorporates exercise, stress reduction, tai chi and yoga are a few of the recommended therapies.

Opioids should be last resort Dr. Thomas said opioid drugs should only be considered with great caution and as a last resort, only when other therapies have failed.  He added that opioids are for short-term use only and help control severe pain, but don’t cure the underlying issue.

“It never cures the pain, it changes the perception of pain, that’s the important thing to recognize - that it changes how you feel about pain and how you recognize it, but the true cause of injury has to be addressed,” said Dr. Thomas.

Dr. Thomas said anyone with new leg pain or weakness should have it addressed by a doctor sooner rather than later, as such pain often requires additional work-up and different treatment plans.  Complete guidelines can be found online in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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