Opioids Not Best Option for Back Pain, Arthritis, Study Finds

Opioids Not Best Option for Back Pain, Arthritis, Study Finds

As opioids continue to build to a bad word even doctors are hesitant to utter, evidence is also mounting that indicates they’re not the panacea of relief they’ve long been thought to be. For example, consider back pain and chronic arthritis.

Opioids have become a standard treatment for symptoms involving lumbar pain, or the ongoing stiffness and discomfort of arthritis. But research into the effectiveness, and necessity, of such strong pain relieving drugs appears to be showing that they’re far too big of a gun for such problems. Most patients can receive just as much relief simply from over the counter pain management options, such as Tylenol or Advil.

One study recently published looked at patients suffering from at least moderate chronic pain, including hip or knee arthritis, or in their back. Half were given opioid medications, the other half the milder pain management options. After a year, the researchers found that there was little to no difference in how each group was able to deal with their chronic conditions. The opioids, even though they’re strong, were not more effective than non-opioid measures. And the opioid patients were at risk for all the problems that can arise from being on a regular regimen of opioid medication; including addiction or rising tolerance to the strong drugs.

The study’s authors stress that drug management doesn’t have to the be first option doctors offer for chronic pain management. And when drug therapy is indicated, that opioids shouldn’t be the initial choice.

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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators.The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.
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HealthStatus has been operating since 1998 providing the best interactive health tools on the Internet, millions of visitors have used our health risk assessment, body fat and calories burned calculators. The HealthStatus editorial team has continued that commitment to excellence by providing our visitors with easy to understand high quality health content for many years.

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