Back Pain Medications, Opioids, (Oxycodone, Morphine, Codeine) ?are they helping?

Reference:1) White AP, et al Pharmacologic management of chronic low back pain: synthesis of the evidence. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2011 Oct 1;36 2) Franklin GM, et al Early opioid prescription and subsequent disability among workers with back injuries: the Disability Risk Identification Study Cohort. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2008 Jan 15;33(2):199-204. 3) Deshpande A, et al Opioids for chronic low-back pain. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007 Jul 18;(3)

Imagine this, you take your car to the auto mechanic as there is a strange noise coming from underneath the hood. You assume the mechanic will do investigative tests and try to figure out the cause of the noise.

The mechanic fiddles around for a few minutes underneath the hood and runs a series of tests and shrugs his shoulders and hands you a pair of earplugs. The mechanic says, “The earplugs will keep the noise level lower and help you keep on driving.”

In one study involving almost 2000 patients, more than one-third of the workers with back injury received an opioid prescription within 6 weeks. After adjusting for pain, function, injury severity,patients who received opioids for more than 7 days were significantly more likely to have work disability at 1 year, compared to those who did not receive the opioids!

(Like saying, those who wore earplugs when their car started to make noise had significantly poorer outcomes in their car …oh, surprise!)

“…opioids are not recommended as a treatment for chronic LBP …with significant side effects including decreasing effectiveness related to habituation when used long-term.? (2011 Systematic Review)

“Prescription of opioids for more than 7 days for workers with acute back injuries is a risk factor for long-term disability.” (2008 Cohort Study)

“…the benefits of opioids in clinical practice for the long-term management of chronic LBP remains questionable.” (2007 Cochrane database systematic review)

Posted on: July 05, 2012

Categories: Fascinating Pain Studies , Modalities / Meds / Supplements

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