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Opioids Not Best for Lower Back Relief

(Fall 2017) The prevalence and availability of prescribed opioid painkillers are two contributing factors to the explosion of accidental overdoses occurring in our country. With this in mind, new research could reduce the number of opioid prescriptions written. The results indicated that opioids are no more effective for lower back pain relief than non-addictive paracetamol and ibuprofen. This conclusion backs up other studies as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), stating that opioids should not be the drug of choice for treating chronic pain.

Recent related research showed that pain alters the brain by reducing the size of regions that regulate emotions. However, those areas can bounce back if the pain is relieved. To prevent acute back pain from becoming a chronic condition, one study advocated for the prescription of sleeping pills to promote the production of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid).  GABA is a chemical which calms the brain and nervous system and is lacking in the bodies of those suffering from acute back pain.

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