New Guidelines for Acute and Subacute Low Back Pain & Preventative Maintenance

June 7th, 2019

Do you suffer from low back pain? You’re not alone. Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for doctor’s visits in the United States. In fact, approximately one-quarter of U.S. adults reported having low back pain lasting at least one day in the past three months! Recently, the American College of Physicians (ACP) published an evidence-based clinical practice guideline that physicians and patients should treat acute or subacute low back pain, and the preventative maintenance thereof, with non-drug therapies such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation.

New Low Back Pain Guidelines

There are three categories of low back pain:

  • Acute (lasting less than four weeks)
  • Subacute (lasting four to 12 weeks)
  • Chronic (lasting more than 12 weeks)

Acute and subacute low back pain usually improves over time regardless of treatment and Doctors should reassure their patients of that. Under these new guidelines, physicians should avoid prescribing unnecessary tests and costly and potentially harmful drugs, especially narcotics.

Alternatives to Pain Medication

Evidence shows that both acetaminophen and systemic steroids were not effective in treating acute or subacute low back pain. Instead of drugs, the ACP recommends that physicians and patients use non-drug and non-invasive therapies such as the following:

  • Exercise
  • Multidisciplinary rehabilitation
  • Acupuncture
  • Mindfulness-based stress reduction
  • Spinal manipulation
  • Tai chi
  • Yoga
  • Motor control exercise
  • Progressive Relaxation

When treating chronic low back pain, new guidelines say doctors should select therapies that have the fewest harms and costs. The ACP reminds patients that these physical therapies should be administered by providers with appropriate training like our very own Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Sarah Sponaugle.

Benefits of Non-Invasive Therapies

Patients evaluated in the ACP’s clinical report had the following improvements after non-drug and noninvasive therapies for low back pain:

  • Reduction or elimination of low back pain
  • Improvement in back specific and overall function
  • Improvement in health-related quality of life
  • Reduction in work disability
  • Reduction of back pain episodes or time between episodes
  • Improved patient satisfaction

At Driven Fit + Sponaugle Wellness Studio, we offer the best chiropractic care and acupuncture therapy in South Tampa and treat conditions such as acute and subacute low back pain. For more information on our services or to schedule a consultation with our highly trained specialist, Dr. Sarah Sponaugle, DC., please contact us at (813) 440-3016.

Categories: Rejuvenation

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