• A Clinical Practice Guideline: Non-Invasive Treatments for Low Back Pain

  • A Clinical Practice Guideline: Non-Invasive Treatments for Low Back Pain

    About two-thirds of Americans experience low back pain, but more than 60 percent of them never seek professional help for pain relief, according to the American Physical Therapy Association. Additionally, one third of adults claim their lower back pain has affected their ability to perform daily tasks, exercise and even sleep.

    With chronic lower back pain being such a prevalent condition in today’s society, it stands to reason that many studies are being done on this to provide helpful guidelines for patients and doctors alike. The American College of Physicians has come up with a guideline to show evidence and offer clinical recommendations on non-invasive treatment of lower back pain.

    Researchers conducted trials and subsequent reviews regarding non-invasive pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for back pain in 2015 and then again in 2016. Evaluations related to the following:

    • Elimination or reduction of low back pain
    • Better back-specific and overall function
    • Increased quality of life
    • Improvement in work ability
    • Frequency of back pain
    • Patient satisfaction
    • Adverse effects

    The study focused on adults with acute, subacute, or chronic low back pain. Suffering from low back pain in Southeast Michigan? You’ll be interested in the findings below.


    Recommendations arising from the research are as follow:

    Recommendation #1: Knowing that most people with acute and sub-acute low back pain improve with time despite treatment, it is recommended that patients should undergo non-pharmacologic treatment with heat application, chiropractic care, massage, or acupuncture. If drugs are desired, they should be non-steroidal anti-inflammatory in nature.

    Recommendation #2: Those who suffer from chronic lower back pain should start off with non-pharmacologic treatment paired with exercise, rehabilitation, acupuncture, stress reduction techniques, yoga, tai chi, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electro-myography bio-feedback, laser therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or spinal manipulation.

    Recommendation #3: Those with chronic lower back pain who have not responded to the above non-pharmacologic therapy can try pharmacologic solutions provided they are non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory in nature as part of the first attempt at success. If that fails, tramadol or duloxetine should be prescribed. Opioids should not be considered unless all other options have been tried with no success. In addition, the benefits of opioids must outweigh the risks for patients.

    Unfortunately, low back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to visit the doctor in this country. All too often, drugs are the remedy of choice right away, as many doctors and patients understandably wish to dull the pain – especially in cases of chronic daily back pain. However, the findings above suggest other non-drug treatment can be just as effective, including acupuncture.

    It’s no surprise so many people in Metro Detroit and indeed throughout the country suffer from low back pain. After all, this portion of the spine must support the weight of the entire upper body, providing mobility for everyday motions such as bending and twisting, says Spine-Health. Lower back muscles also have to help flex and rotate the hips while walking and to support the spinal column. You also have lots of nerve endings in the lower back that give sensation and power to the pelvis, legs and feet muscles.

    Contact Metro Detroit Acupuncture

    If you are ready to try an effective solution for lower back pain, call Metro Detroit Acupuncture at 248-432-2846. We can come up with a holistic solution to your lower back pain in Michigan.