Non-pharmacologic therapies can be used with or without pharmacological support to reduce pain. It is comprised of physical therapy, chiropractic care, heat and cold therapies or Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TNS). This technique can be used to ease the pain arising from several conditions such as arthritis, hip, low back, knee, neck, and shoulder injury and pain, muscle strains and fractures.
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently released new guidelines for low back pain treatment. They strongly recommended the use of non-pharmacological treatments as first-line options for treating nonspecific low back pain. They outlined a number of nondrug treatments to be used as first-line options for acute, sub-acute, and chronic forms of low back pain. These include:
- Superficial heat
- Massage therapy
- Spinal manipulation
For patients who are unresponsive to the nondrug treatment, they advised non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) as an alternative first-line therapy and duloxetine (Cymbalta) as a second-line therapy. They also suggested Tramadol, an opioid as a second-line therapy for properly selected patients.
ACP recommended additional therapies for patients with chronic back pain. They are:
- Multidisciplinary rehabilitation
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction exercises
- Motor control exercise
- Progressive relaxation
- Electromyography biofeedback
- Operant therapy, a form of behavioral therapy that focuses on positive or negative reinforcement
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
In fact, some doctors believe that providing more immediate access to physical therapy services could facilitate even better clinical results and prevent unnecessary medical interventions down the line. ACP guidelines are a great resource for multidisciplinary practitioners as they are able to provide many of the non-pharmacological treatments recommended in the guidelines.
Non-pharmacologic Treatment for Low Back Pain
Following ACP guidelines, leading multispecialty healthcare centers would provide appropriate non-drug treatment to ease low back pain. They use a wide range of treatment strategies such as massage, heat and cold therapies, radiofrequency radio ablation, and Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TNS) for pain management in Brooklyn, NYC. If it is required, their physicians would also prescribe medication. For successful management of chronic pain in the lower back, they may recommend a combination of pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments. Moreover, they will provide a customized treatment plan based on the diagnosis. This results in fast pain relief thus enabling patients to enhance their functionality and improve the quality of their life.