If you suffer from low back pain, you know the drill. When your pain becomes unbearable, you go to the doctor, who will prescribe you medications, even if it's just ibuprofen. You might even get an MRI to see what's really behind that aching back.
Well, that was then. In a surprise reversal, the American College of Physicians came out with new guidelines that suggests doctors only offer medications, even over-the-counter pain relievers, as a LAST resort. Instead, the medical organization recommended that sufferers try some non-pharma fixes first, like yoga, acupuncture, and massage therapy. Surprisingly, even placebos worked better than meds.
In fact, the ACP strongly suggested that back-pain sufferers not bother going to the doctor at all. The organization said low back pain was like the common cold--annoying, but it goes away on its own if you just go about your regular life.
If a person's back ache goes on for more than three months, then these M.D.s suggested trying ibuprofen or aspirin--and continuing physical therapy, massage, or exercising. In fact, after reviewing the evidence, the ACP said that such common back pain remedies as steroid injections and acetaminophen (Tylenol) didn't work at all.
The ACP hopes its new guidelines may begin to lower pain-killer addiction, which frequently starts when doctors prescribe these powerful meds as back pain remedies.