Opioid Analgesic Therapy and Spinal Manipulative Therapy are both best practices supported by research for the treatment of chronic low back pain.
In the April 19, 2021 issue of the journal Spine, a retrospective observational study looking at the outcomes from each treatment type was published.
The objective of this study was to compare opioid analgesic therapy versus spinal manipulative therapy with regard to the risk of all adverse drug events among older adults with chronic low back pain.
They examined Medicare claims data spanning a 5-year period for beneficiaries aged 65 to 84 years with an episode of chronic low back pain in 2013. They excluded patients with a diagnosis of cancer or who used hospice care.
All included patients received long-term management of chronic low back pain with spinal manipulative therapy or opioid analgesic therapy and belonged to one of four groups: those who received spinal manipulative therapy or opioid analgesic therapy only, and those who started with one and ended with the other.
The rate of adverse drug events was more than 42 times higher for those whose initial choice was opioid analgesic therapy versus an initial choice of spinal manipulative therapy.
You can find out more about this study if you read the abstract below: