February 14, 2017
(Vox) – America’s doctors have finally admitted it: Their pharmaceutical tools to treat one of patients’ most common ailments don’t work. Lower back pain is one of the most frequent reasons people visit the doctor. Yet doctors are finding drugs should actually often be the last line of treatment for it. A new guideline out Tuesday from the American College of Physicians suggests doctors recommend exercise and treatments like heat wraps, yoga, and mindfulness meditation to their patients before turning to medications like opioids or even over-the-counter painkillers. That marks a big departure from previous guidelines, Roger Chou, a professor at Oregon Health and Science University, told Vox.
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