Overall rating



M-Th 9am - 6pm

Opioids and Back Pain: Do They Really Help?

Patient ResourcesContact Us
Image of Pain killers in a bottle, opioids. Medical opioid epidemic. White pills under blue light and a brown glass bottle. Millions of people suffer from back pain on a daily basis, desperately searching for relief. Many turn to opioids as a solution, only to find themselves trapped in a never-ending cycle of dependency and side effects. Living with chronic back pain is not only physically debilitating but emotionally draining as well. The constant reliance on opioids can lead to addiction, further deteriorating the quality of life. At our Family Chiropractic Clinic, we offer a natural and effective alternative to opioids for treating back pain. Our expert chiropractors provide personalized care that targets the root cause of your pain, providing long-lasting relief without the risk of addiction or harmful side effects. Say goodbye to the endless cycle and take control of your health with our holistic approach.

For years, opioids have been one of the most prescribed options for back pain; however, a recent study published in the Lancet medical journal has found that opioid pain medications do not relieve acute low back or neck pain (recent pain that lasts up to 12 weeks) and can result in worse pain. Frequently, the best way to relieve—and eliminate—back pain is to fix the problem.

Common Causes of Back Pain

Often, there isn’t a clear cause for a person’s back pain. It can be frustrating when your back hurts and you can’t identify an obvious reason for your pain. Some common causes of back pain include:

  • a herniated disc: This is a problem with the cushion between the bones in your back.
  • overuse or muscle strain: This can happen from not being physically fit, playing sports, lifting heavy things, or tasks at home and/or work with repetitive physical motions.
  • arthritis: With age, there may be changes in your bones that can narrow the space around your nerves.

Myths About Back Pain

  • Myth: I need prescription pain medicine to get relief from my back pain.
    • Fact: Prescription opioid pain medicines, like oxycodone or hydrocodone, do not usually work any better at relieving back pain than over-the-counter pain medications like naproxen or ibuprofen. Additionally, opioids carry a risk of developing serious problems like opioid use disorder or overdose that can cause opioid addiction.
  • Myth: When I have back pain, I have to stop and rest my back.
    • Fact: Staying physically active will not hurt your back. In many cases, staying active may help you heal sooner and feel better faster.
  • Myth: I can not do anything to treat my low back pain until I have a test like an X-ray or MRI to diagnose my low back pain.
    • Fact: Getting a test won’t help lessen your pain or make you feel better faster. In some cases, there may be a lengthy wait for some tests, and this might lead to a delay in beginning a treatment path like physical therapy that can have you feeling better and experiencing less pain soon.

Opiates for Back Pain Carry More Risks with Uncertain Benefits

While recent research studies have shown a dramatic increase in the usage of opioid pain medicines as a treatment option for back pain, these studies have also shown opioid treatment for pain has not helped people return to their previous activity levels and the rates of disability have not decreased.

One thing the research studies have clearly shown is the risks of using opiates for back pain. Specifically, the studies are showing an increase in the rates of addiction, overdoses, and the rise of deaths attributed to prescription opiates.

Managing Back Pain

With more research showing opioids have no benefits for lower back pain but do carry the risk of harm, opioids may not be a good recommendation for treatment of acute lower back pain. Instead, other treatment options that focus on patient-centered approaches that include staying active and simple pain relievers should be recommended.

Fortunately, growing evidence has shown success in treating back pain with treatments that focus on getting back pain sufferers active again and learning to manage, not cure, the pain. A range of therapies that include exercise, frequent physical activity, education about how to care for your back, yoga, physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and mind-body techniques have been shown to help control and reduce back pain.

Non-Opioid Treatment Options for Low Back Pain

No matter what the cause, acute low back pain usually gets better on its own within a few weeks. Most of the time, all it takes is time and doing usual activities for people to feel better.

Using ice or heat and taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen and naproxen can also help manage pain while your body heals.

If you feel like you are not getting better on your own or your pain is bad, there are non-opioid treatment options that can help.

Physical Therapy to Manage Back Pain

Physical therapy is a fantastic treatment option for improving movement while relieving pain. It also helps improve your fitness level and restore a loss of physical function resulting from illness or injury. At A Family Chiropractic Clinic, physical therapy is just one of several treatment options we provide our patients.

Physical Therapy Exercises for Back Pain

Exercise is one of the most important aspects of physical therapy. Your therapist may suggest and encourage you to do specific activities based on your needs that can help manage and reduce your back pain. Some of the exercises that might be included in your physical therapy include core exercises, stretching, walking, weight training, and yoga.

Manual Therapy for Back Pain

A physical therapist performs manual physical therapy primarily with their hands. The goal of this style of therapy is to decrease pain, provide relaxation, and increase flexibility. Types of manual therapy include massage, manipulation, and mobilization. These techniques use slow, measured movements to manually adjust your body. These movements will help place your bones and joints in their proper positions and also help loosen tight tissues to improve your flexibility.

Spinal Manipulation or Chiropractic Care for Back Pain

Spinal manipulation therapy or chiropractic treatment is a very safe and effective way to gain relief from the back pain you’re experiencing. Chiropractic treatment can quickly reduce and eliminate pain and promotes improved physical therapy. Additionally, chiropractic care can eliminate the need to be stuck in bed for weeks after back surgery as well as the possibility of infection.

Can a Chiropractor Help Me with My Back Pain?

If you’re experiencing back pain, our highly experienced and caring staff can help. We use state-of-the-art equipment and techniques like chiropractic care, K-laser therapy, massage therapy, and physical therapy to treat your back pain and other symptoms.

We do more than just treat your back pain and other symptoms. We want to get to the root cause of the pain or pressure you’re experiencing so we can correct the problem and get you on the path to living a high-quality life.

Call A Family Chiropractic Clinic today at 940-566-0000 to schedule a consultation or contact us online to see how we can help you achieve pain relief.