Non-Evidence-Based Treatments for Back Pain Increasingly Common

August 9, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care


Many patients with back pain are receiving potentially addictive narcotics and undergoing unnecessary imaging studies contrary to clinical guidelines, concludes a study published online July 29, 2013, in JAMA Internal Medicine. The researchers found that of nearly 24,000 U.S. medical visits from 1999 to 2010, treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or acetaminophen per visit decreased from 36.9% in 1999 to 2000 to 24.5% in 2009 to 2010, while treatment with narcotics rose from 19.3% to 29.1%.

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