“A recent meta-analysis revealed that narcotics provide little to no benefit in acute back pain, they have no proved efficacy in chronic back pain, and 43% of patients have concurrent substance abuse disorders, with aberrant medication-taking disorders as high as 24% of cases of chronic back pain.” - Martel et al. 2007
So why are so many medications still prescribed for acute back pain? Well, the truth is that primary care physicians have a limited skill set to deal with musculoskeletal complaints. Add to this the constant marketing by pharmaceutical companies and the desire to "help" the patient through the acute pain; and you start to see the formula for ill advised treatment.
Evidence based management guidelines continue to support the use of chiropractic care for these patients. However, the impetus is on us, as chiropractors, to get out and let our local physicians know about the research.
Martell BA, O’Connor PG, Kerns RD, et al. Systematic review: opioid treatment for chronic back pain: prevalence, efficacy, and association with addiction. Ann Intern Med. 2007;146(2):116-127
-The Evidence Based Chiropractor is the fastest growing chiropractic outreach group in the profession. The service is dedicated to increasing chiropractic utilization by showcasing research. Marketing to medical doctors through research is efficient, cost effective, and can dramatically improve your incoming referrals. Join us. Lets grow chiropractic together