Low back pain: The world’s leading cause of disability
At Acorn Health, I strive to deliver the best chiropractic care possible for my patients in accordance with evidence-based guidelines. Recently, what is arguably THE leading medical journal The Lancet lifted an embargo on their Low Back Pain Series.
These papers reveal that low back pain is now the number one cause of all disability globally, and is medically mismanaged often against best practice guidelines. The article found there was:
“Evidence of over prescription of potentially harmful and addictive opioids for low back pain when simple physical therapies are under prescribed.”
There is also overuse of inappropriate tests and treatments such as imaging and surgery which means patients are not receiving the right care, resulting in long term disability.
To read the current evidence guidelines for the management of low back pain from the Nationtal Institute for Health and Care Excellence, please click here.
Low back pain costs the NHS £2.1 billion every year. It costs the UK economy over £10 billion every year in lost working days and informal care.
The Lancet authors say patients should avoid harmful and useless treatments. Furthermore, doctors need to address widespread misconceptions about the effectiveness of these treatments.
For example, there is limited evidence to support the use of opioids for low back pain. Epidural steroid injections and acetaminophen (paracetamol) are not recommended.
1 in every 7 GP appointments is for a musculoskeletal condition and low back pain is top of that list. Patients should consider self-referring to an appropriate practitioner such as a chiropractor, osteopath or physiotherapist instead.
Recommended treatments for low back pain: What does the research say?
Current management guidelines and latest evidence base show that the best approach for managing back pain, is through a package of care. These packages of care are the type typically provided by our chiropractor Philippa. This will include:
- Manual therapy (gentle adjustments of the spine and joints)
- Psychological interventions. These help you to understand what is causing your pain. During treatment you can address any worries or concerns you may have about your back pain
- Yoga or similar relaxation techniques
- Exercise (every Acorn Health chiropractic patient is provided with a bespoke rehabilitation programme as part of their care)
Chiropractic care is gentle, safe and effective for the treatment of low back pain and sciatica. Find out more about other conditions chiropractic can help: Click here.
How you can help change the treatment of low back pain
Please tell friends, family and colleagues about your experience and the care you receive at Acorn Health to direct them towards recommended, evidence-based care.
If you know someone who has complained of back pain recently and is managing it with drugs whilst *gasp* waiting for an MRI, show them these papers or tell them about us instead. They’ll get better faster AND not be at risk of long-term disability
Our patients know and understand the best treatment for back pain because they’ve sought effective, evidence-based care with a chiropractor.
You are uniquely positioned to help your friends, family and colleagues. Ultimately, you can help to reduce the enormous burden low back pain has on the world.
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