Guns and car crashes might not be as dangerous as narcotic chronic back pain treatment for conditions like herniated disc and degenerative disc disease (statistically speaking that is…) This is perhaps another great reason to consider non-surgical treatment options when receiving treatment for a herniated disc, rather than depending on long term pain medication. According to the medical experts, long-term narcotic, or opioid, treatment might be far from safe or even effective.
This is the latest news from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in a position paper published recently in the society’s medical journal, Neurology. According to a report on medicalxpress.com, the lead author of the paper said “There have been more deaths from prescription opioids in the most vulnerable young to middle-aged groups than from firearms and car accidents. Doctors, states, institutions and patients need to work together to stop this epidemic.”
The AAN statement basically says that the benefits for treating chronic back pain and other types of non-cancer pain, do not outweigh the risks from long-term opioid use. These powerful narcotics, which include morphine, hydrocodone, codeine and combinations of acetaminophen with these substances, are often prescribed to treat chronic pain from herniated discs and other spine conditions. According to the report, at least half of the patients taking these drugs for three months are still relying on them after 5 years.
When used to treat chronic back pain, these medications block pain messages and create feelings of euphoria. While they may help ease symptoms in the short run, over time the patient becomes addicted to the overall sense of euphoria, develops a tolerance to the drugs, and so they require higher and higher doses. To prevent these risks from occurring, the AAN issued several recommendations for physicians prescribing the drugs. These include, screening patients for history of substance abuse and depression; tracking morphine (and equivalent) dosages; and using state medication program to track all prescription medication a person is taking.
When someone has been relying on powerful opioids to treat chronic back pain, it may be the right time to consider cutting-edge non-surgical advancements in medicine. After all, treating the underlying condition will provide a lasting pain solution without the devastating side effects and addiction risks that come with long term opioid therapies. To learn more, visit promedpainrehab.com or call 630-343-0885 to see if you are eligible for our Non-Surgical Disc Regeneration Protocol.