HealthCheck

Doctors treatment of back pain not effective

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Back pain is one of the most common reasons people go to the doctor. But a new report says all too often, it isn't handled right.

Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston reached that conclusion after looking at the records from 23,000 doctor visits for back pain.

Here's what you should know. For most people- over-the-counter drugs like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, along with physical therapy and being active will lessen the pain.

Instead, many doctors are prescribing narcotics, such as Oxycontin.

And the study found they are prescribing them, even when patients have other substance abuse problems.

These drugs have not been shown to help relieve back pain. And they can lead to problems with addiction.

Patients are also getting more CT and MRI scans, but most of the time, they don't find problems.

So if YOU have back pain, start with these simple measures: Pain reliever and physical therapy.

And be patient. It takes time to work.

But if it is not getting any better after a few months or if it is getting worse, then talk to your doctor about other options.

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