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2017 Update on Physician Guidelines for Low Back Pain Management

by | Jun 26, 2017 | Healthy Living, Physical Therapy, Stress Relief



Low back pain is a big deal, and Odom Health & Wellness has been helping individuals for years.  It just so happens that we have been doing it according to the new guidelines long before they were recently updated.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]It has been reported that 70–85% of all people have back pain at some time in their life and that 25% of Americans report an incidence of low back pain within the past 3 months.1 Back pain is the most frequently reported reason for doctor visits, fifth-ranking cause for admission to the hospital, and 3rd most common cause of surgical procedures.2  Costs for management of low back pain disorders continue to skyrocket and are reported to be between $85 billion and $238 billion.  It is clear that the cure for low back pain remains elusive, but emerging evidence supports current evidence-based practice within Odom Health and Wellness.

New Guidelines

On February 14, the American College of Physicians revealed the lasted update for non-invasive management of acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain.  See the article here. Below is a brief summary of the current updates and what you can do to help yourself or a loved one dealing with acute or chronic low back pain.

Avoid medication as initial treatment

Clinicians and patients should select non-pharmacological interventions as primary treatment. We so often want the “quick fix” or “magic pill” to eliminate our problems, but the truth is that medication is limited in its ability to truly heal and more efficacious treatment options exist.

Multimodal approach

American College of Physicians strongly recommend a collaborative interdisciplinary approach to treating low back pain. It is recommended that exercise-based therapy, spinal mobilization and manipulation, motor control re-training, needling therapies, stress reduction and relaxation, tai chi, yoga, neuromuscular re-education, therapeutic neuroscience education, and pain relieving modalities such as biofeedback, heat, and laser be frontline in patient management.

In the past, these have been considered by many to be “alternative” or secondary options for back pain management. What we now know is that early referral to physical therapy is associated with improved functional outcomes, lower utilization of advanced imaging, lumbar spinal injections, lumbar spine surgery, and use of opioids. Physical therapy is a primary treatment and should be the first line of defense with low back pain.

Avoid Opioids

Opioid abuse is gaining national attention due to several deaths from overdose. Opiods suppress the central nervous system, including the midbrain which controls heart rate and respiration-2 vital command centers humans need working at 100%. If patients require medication as treatment, it is recommended non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) and/or muscle relaxants as first line treatment and tramadol or duloxetine as second line treatment. Opioid medication ought only be considered if all other treatment options have been exhausted.

We are here for you

The newly updated guidelines excite us and reinforce what we already know to be an incredible model for low back pain management.  Here at Odom Health and Wellness, we are proud to offer all of the above listed interventions under one roof. Whether its physical therapy, personal training, massage, diet and lifestyle advice, or cutting edge medical treatments, we are prepared to treat the entire individual during your time under our care at Odom with a clinical product that is second to none.  Call us at 952-224-1919 and schedule a visit with Dr. Odom, MD or Dr. Stensrud, DPT for an evaluation and take control of your low back pain!

Written by:

Trent Stensrud, DPT, COMT, CSCS



Our goal at Odom Health & Wellness is to provide the highest quality patient care with an individualized approach.  Many people want to not only reduce pain, but they also want to live a healthier lifestyle.  Our multi-provider approach to functional medicine allow us to help treat patients through physical therapy, exercise training, diet & nutrition, and regenerative medicine.

Our team at Odom Health & Wellness is working hard to promote health & wellness in Minnesota and beyond.

If you or a loved one has been struggling with low back pain give us a call or email us.



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  1. Childs, John D., et al. “Implications of early and guideline adherent physical therapy for low back pain on utilization and costs.” BMC health services research1 (2015): 150.
  2. Andersson, Gunnar BJ. “Epidemiological features of chronic low-back pain.” The lancet9178 (1999): 581-585.