LOW BACK PAIN INJURY FROM ACCIDENT – MN LAWYERS
Low back pain affects millions of people in the United States, and the condition is one of the most common reasons for people missing work. Our Minnesota personal injury attorneys represent many people with low back pain who were injured in an accident. New guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend noninvasive ways of treating nonradicular low back pain. This article was published online at Medical News Today.
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that approximately 31 million U.S. individuals experience low back pain at one point during their lives from an accident or other reason. The ACA also note that low back pain is the leading cause of disability across the world, as well as one of the most popular reasons why people miss work.
The condition accounts for a large proportion of all doctor visits in the U.S., and almost 25 percent of the entire adult population in the U.S. has experienced at least one day of low back pain in the past 3 months. The back pain is typically characterized as acute if it lasts for under 4 weeks, subacute if it lasts between 4 and 12 weeks, and chronic if it lasts for more than 12 weeks.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) have published their clinical practice guideline for treating nonradicular low back pain in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. Nonradicular pain refers to pain that does not irradiate from, and is not caused by, damage to the spinal nerve root.
An evidence-based guideline for clinical practice
The guideline is based on a review of randomized controlled trials and observational studies conducted on noninvasive drug and non-drug treatments for low back pain.
The health outcomes evaluated by the ACP include the reduction or complete elimination of low back pain, improvement in overall motor function and quality of life, reduction or elimination of work disability, and drug side effects. The review also looked at the number of back pain episodes and duration between episodes.
Opioids should be ‘last option’ for treatment
Clinical trials reviewed in the guidelines show that acetaminophen does not reduce pain when compared with a placebo. Systemic steroids were also shown to be ineffective in treating acute or subacute low back pain. However, the evidence supporting this was deemed “low-quality” by the ACP. Our personal injury lawyers have seen many clients effected by over prescription of narcotic pain killers.
The committee recommends that patients with chronic low back pain start by undergoing non-drug therapy and exercising, as well as engaging in multidisciplinary rehabilitation, acupuncture, mindfulness-based therapies for stress reduction, tai chi, and yoga.
Other practices recommended by the ACP in the initial stages of chronic low back pain include MCE (an activity that focuses on the “activation of the deep and global trunk muscles”) and progressive muscle relaxation, including the use of electromyography biofeedback. Biofeedback-assisted relaxation uses electronic devices to measure body functions, thus helping the patient gain control of muscle tension and relaxation.
The ACP also recommends low-level laser therapy and spinal manipulation, as well as cognitive behavioral and operant therapy.
The president of the ACP comments on the newly issued recommendations: “For the treatment of chronic low back pain, physicians should select therapies that have the fewest harms and costs, since there were no clear comparative advantages for most treatments compared to one another. Physicians should remind their patients that any of the recommended physical therapies should be administered by providers with appropriate training.”
As the next clinical step for patients with chronic low back pain who did not respond well to nonpharmacological therapy, the ACP recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, followed by drugs such as tramadol or duloxetine as second-line therapy.
The committee notes that physicians should only consider prescribing opioids for patients who did not respond adequately to these previous treatments. The committee recommends that physicians should consult the patients and present to them the associated risks and potential benefits of opioid treatment.
Finally, the physicians should only prescribe opioids if the possible benefits clearly outweigh the risks. “Physicians should consider opioids as a last option for treatment and only in patients who have failed other therapies, as they are associated with substantial harms, including the risk of addiction or accidental overdose,” Overall, Dr. Damle explains, “physicians should reassure their patients that acute and subacute low back pain usually improves over time regardless of treatment.” “Physicians should avoid prescribing unnecessary tests and costly and potentially harmful drugs, especially narcotics, for these patients,” Dr. Damle adds.
If you experience serious low back pain as a result of a MN injury accident that was not your fault, call us and speak with an attorney for a free consultation. Our MN personal injury attorneys are experienced, caring and tough. Our top lawyers have represented many people with low back injury from a car accident, defective product, motorcycle accident and many other types of accidents. A back injury accident lawyer will advise you of your rights and make sure you are treated fairly by the insurance company. We have offices where you can meet a lawyer in Edina, Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, and Woodbury. An attorney will also come to your home to discuss your accident case throughout Minnesota.