The Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) provided new recommendations for chiropractors on an article published on February 14, 2018, by Choosing Wisely Australia. The recommendations are aimed at addressing the growing concerns over the use of prescription pain relief medicines and the use of spinal fusion surgery to treat lower back pain.
According to recent studies, most pain relief medicines are ineffective when it comes to treating lower back pain. This has caused many doctors to refrain from prescribing pain relief drugs to their patients. These doctors are also responding to changes in international guidelines when it comes to the management of lower back pain.
Below are the recommendations by ANZCA.
Avoid prescribing opioids as the first option of for monotherapy for chronic non-cancer pain. Practitioners are discouraged from prescribing opioids for chronic non-cancer pain without seeing benefits from the patients. They are also advised to reduce dosage and the screen for long-term negative effects of these drugs. They are also discouraged from referring patients suffering from lower lumbar back pain for spinal fusion surgery.
Practitioners are also advised to use nonpharmacological approaches to treating lower back pain. These include massage, superficial heat massage and spinal manipulation. It is worthy to take note that all of these techniques are already being used by chiropractors all over the world. The use of exercise therapies, spinal manipulation and rehabilitation are also encouraged.
The new guidelines also urge chiropractors to offer their patients with evidence-based information with regard to the kinds of treatments they are going to employ. Patients should also be advised to remain active for as long as they can. Practitioners should also discuss with their patients all the risks and benefits that come from the different available treatments in order for patients to be fully aware of their options.
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