Alternatives to Medication for Treating Low Back Pain

The American College of Physicians recently published new guidelines for treating non-radicular low back pain. With concern mounting about narcotics prescribed for back pain (Oxycontin, Percocet) and misuse and overdose becoming prevalent, research is focusing on safe, non-invasive methods of treating low back pain.

The College identifies acute low back pain as lasting up to 4 weeks, subacute back pain from 4-12 weeks, and chronic low back pain lasting more than 12 weeks.  For acute or subacute low back pain, the College recommends an evidence-based clinical practice guideline that treatment should include massage, acupuncture or spinal manipulation.

For people with chronic low back pain, the College suggests multidisciplinary rehabilitation including exercise, acupuncture, laser therapy and spinal manipulation. The treatments were beneficial in reducing or eliminating low back pain, improving function, improving quality of life, reducing time off work, decreasing the number of back pain episodes and the time between them, without the adverse effects of opioids.

The correct type of back care and exercise is also critically important, as our previous blog points out.

If you have low back pain, please contact the clinic at 905-220-7858, or contact me at the clinic at

Madeleine Hunter, B.A., CAT(C), RMT