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Episode 195: Low Back Pain Guidelines

Video Highlights

- Start with non-drug therapies.
- Improves over time regardless of treatment
- No clear comparative advantages for treatment

Today we’re doing a little public service announcement about new guidelines for people with low back pain.

About two weeks ago, the American College of Physicians, which is a kind of overseeing group that looks at the treatment guidelines for physicians around the country released a new set of recommendations for people with low back pain, particularly what’s called non-radicular low back pain.

I want to make sure to take a moment just to share those with you because I thought it was really cool and really interesting that doctors around the country are recognizing that research says, “You know what? If you have low back pain, you might want to avoid the medications and move more.” This actually was released on February 14. Like I said, it’s the American College of Physicians.

I’m going to go ahead and put a link in the video so you can check it out yourself.

Click here for the American College of Physicians Newsroom Article

Basically, what they say is, “Look. We’ve looked at a lot of research evidence looking at different kinds of over the counter medications all the way up through opioids and say, ‘Do these help people with acute, which is back pain under about four weeks, or subacute, which is back pain lasting four to twelve weeks? Do these help as much as other things?'”

What they found was that really, medications don’t do a lot for people that are suffering low back pain. The number one recommendation, and you’ve heard this from many sources, hopefully it’s Z-Health, is that low back pain usually gets better on its own, regardless of what you do. Now, one of the ways to speed that along, obviously, is to look at exercise and other things that improve your overall function.

Now, I love this because, like I said, there’s been for many, many years, people think there’s this huge division between traditional medical physicians, allopaths and chiropractors and osteopaths and physical therapists. What we’re seeing is that as research around the world has looked at it a deeper level, more and more people across every genre of profession are starting to recognize that our job is to figure out what works best for the person sitting in front of us and let them use that.

If we can avoid unnecessary tests, unnecessary medications, that probably is a really smart way to go, and that’s what these guidelines say. I actually want to read this one little section for you.

Low Back Pain Relief: A woman getting out of bed holding her lower back in pain.

It says, “For patients not with acute or subacute, but with chronic low back pain, the American College of Physicians currently recommends that physicians and patients initially select non-drug therapy with exercise, multi-disciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, biofeedback, low level laser therapy, opera therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.”

That’s kind of crazy because there’s a lot of stuff in there that we’ve been talking about doing for a long time. Really, all that I wanted to share with you in this particular video is very simple. If you have acute low back pain, subacute, we know that there’s nothing seriously going on with you because you’ve already been checked out.

Remember, it’s non-radicular. You don’t have any nerve compression or other issues. You might want to forgo the medication because like I said, medications carry their own unintended consequences very often. You want to be aware of that.

Recognize that there are a lot of solutions out there from movement to working with other kind of professionals that may get you back on your feet moving a lot sooner. Obviously, at Z-Health we have a ton of different ways that we deal with different movement issues, including low back pain.

I would recommend is actually we’ll put a few links to some of our other blogs for things that are directly related to working on the low back from our perspective, so those are some things that you can start to sort through.

Click here for Z-Health Blogs related to back pain.

Click here for Z-Health’s Youtube videos related to back pain.

Otherwise, you can always use our search engine bar. Type in “back pain” in our blogs and you can call up some stuff that way. There you have it. If you have any questions about this, let us know. Otherwise, I hope you enjoy reading the new guidelines.

I also hope that you find that it’s an exciting thing to be, to understand that more and more professionals are coming together to say, “What’s the fastest and best thing that we can do for people.”

A lot of times, it is not the medications that we’ve been dependent upon. Have a great week.

Thanks.

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