Lower Back Pain and Opioids

Lately, friends of Aging in Place Specialists have been hearing a lot from us about Lower Back Pain and Sciatica. That is because Lower Back Pain is a widespread issue that, according to research done by UNC School of Medicine, affects nearly 80% of the American population at some point during their lives.

(https://www.med.unc.edu/www/newsarchive/2009/february/chronic-low-back-pain-on-the-rise-unc-study-finds-alarming-increase-in-prevalence ) If you or anyone you know has ever experienced lower back pain, you know just how debilitating it can be.

In a recent article posted by the APTA, the American Physical Therapy Association, research was presented on the association of patient perceptions of the way their physician relates to Physical Therapy as opposed to prescribing Opioids for the treatment of Lower Back Pain.

Research suggests that if a referral for a consultation with a Physical Therapist is given initially as opposed to a prescription for Opioids, even if the patient does not follow through with treatment with a Physical Therapist, the likelihood of Opioid use for the treatment of Lower Back Pain in the future significantly decreases. This would suggest that patients perceive that the Physician believes that the first line of treatment for Lower Back Pain should be Physical Therapy and that patients attribute Physical Therapy to being active, and being active as a solution to their back pain instead of Opioids. Even in instances where they do not follow through with PT, the cost of future treatment, as well as Opioid use significantly decreases.

Want to read more on this research? Check out the article by going to this link:


What does this mean? Why is this important?

We can conclude that if the Physicians prescribe PT as the first approach to treating back pain then the likelihood increases of treatment by a PT, little to no Opioids would be prescribed for this condition, and there would be fewer costs incurred for healthcare in the future for Lower Back Pain. This can also mean much better outcomes for patients.

This is important because individuals will receive a natural treatment that can help with their root cause of pain. Individuals who have treatment for the symptoms of Lower Back Pain rather than the source of the pain are more likely to require treatment to address issues caused by the treatment of the symptoms themselves. In other words, if Physical Therapy is the last line of defense, not only do the patients need to seek healing for the source of their back pain, but once this is addressed, they then need to seek healing from issues caused by treating the symptoms only- this could include treatment for Opioid addiction.

At Aging in Place Specialists, we address the cause of your back pain and sciatica and we are committed to educating our community about this condition by offering monthly free workshops at our local Public Library in Lewes, DE. To learn more about how to treat the source of your back pain, (not just the symptoms), please join us! Sign up to hold your spot at our next workshop by clicking the link below!