The limited role opioids play in treating chronic pain

Chronic Pain Affects (6).png

Potentially addictive opioid💊 painkillers are often prescribed for chronic pain, but they actually work only slightly better than placebo pills, a new review shows.
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The analysis, of 96 clinical trials, found that on average, opioids made only a small difference for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and sciatica.

“Opioids should not be a first-line therapy for chronic, non-cancer pain,” said lead researcher Jason Busse, of the Institute for Pain Research and Care at McMaster University, in Canada.

Dr. Michael Ashburn, a pain medicine specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, agreed.

“This is confirmation of the limited role opioids play in treating chronic, non-cancer pain,” Ashburn said.

So what are the alternatives?

Dr. Casey with patient room 1
Overall, his team found, opioids were no better than non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.

But, he stressed, there are also non-drug options — including physical therapy🧘, exercise, acupuncture and cognitive behavioral therapy.

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