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Changes To major Guidelines For Treatment Lower Back Means GP's Are Now Likely To Recommend Crazy 100 Year Old Therapies

New Guidelines For Lower Back Means GP's Are Now Likely To Recommend Crazy 100-Year-Old Therapies

Recent changes to major worldwide guidelines for the control of LBP mean that general practitioners (GP) are now unlikely to prescribe pain meds.

The medicines which were, earlier than 2017, the go-to treatment are unusually not that great and often causes a range of side effects including addiction.

So What Are These treatments and who is advising the change?

The new guidelines -- the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) clinical guidelines for low-back pain and sciatica, and a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians -- promotes a shift in thinking about the care management of low-back pain.

In response to an ever enhancing issue with addictive opioid meds and the overwhelming amount of research showing most pain medicines have little to no effect for long-term relief. 

These guidelines have then thoroughly switched stance on these pill popping options. 

The New Treatments:

Instead of pain medicines, GPs might suggest non-medicinal approaches including exercises plans (tailored rehab), specific Chiropractic techniques called spinal manipulation and psychological therapies. Acupuncture was previously recommended but has now been withdrawn from the UK NICE guidelines. 

The conclusions of a University of Sydney review to examine the current strategy and changes to diagnosis and management of LBP were published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ November 13, 2017).

Here is what they said:

"Until now, the recommended approach to help LBP in general practice was to prescribe simple pain medicines such as paracetamol or anti-inflammatories," said lead author Dr Adrian Traeger, a researcher from the Musculoskeletal Health Group at the University's School of Public Health.

"These new guidelines suggest avoiding pain medicines initially and discouraging other invasive treatments such as injections and surgery. The recent changes to these guidelines are significant and represent a substantial change in thinking on how best to manage LBP -- the previous recommendations were in place for decades.

"If you have an uncomplicated case of recent-onset LBP, your doctor may now simply provide advice on how to remain active and non-drug methods for pain relief such as heat and massage, and arrange to see you in two weeks to make sure the pain has settled.

"If your pain started a long time ago (more than two weeks), they might suggest treatments such as exercise or mindfulness as treatment. Other effective options could include spinal manipulation, acupuncture, or multi-disciplinary rehabilitation programs."

why is this good news?

These revisions to major international guidelines should see changes to practice worldwide. We at the Wimbledon Chiropractic & Sports Injury Clinic love this new breath of fresh air but also realise it is the way we have been treating for over a decade. In fact, for a long time, we have been making 1000's of patients with lower back pain in the Wimbledon area pain-free, strong and independent. Our approach of combining spinal manipulation with tailored rehab (digital video prescriptions) was great, but we also monitor our results with check up pictures to track your postural changes to show your body moving towards natural positions.

We have also progressed one step further and brought an in-house x-ray facility so we can see what the eyes can not. The reduction in the guess factor, in turn, refines our care and reduces likely hood of error. 

Lastly, we have organised a rapid MRI referral scheme to explore patients with neurological (sciatica) or spinal disc issues. And we are confident that in 10 years this linked up care approach we too become the norm.

If you want new forward thinking care for your spinal condition, click here to contact us


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