- Opioids are ineffective for relieving acute low back or neck pain in the short term and may lead to worse outcomes in the long term. A landmark trial showed no significant difference in pain scores between patients who took opioids and those who took a placebo after 6 weeks. In fact, after 1 year, the placebo group had slightly lower pain scores.
Opioid use for acute low back pain and neck pain should be avoided altogether based on the trial’s findings. Before this study, there was limited evidence on the effectiveness of opioids for these conditions, yet they were commonly prescribed. This trial provides practice-changing results, challenging the widespread use of opioids.
The trial involved 347 adults experiencing low back pain or neck pain for 12 weeks or less. They were randomly assigned to receive guideline-recommended care with an opioid or a placebo for up to 6 weeks. The results highlight the need to reconsider the use of opioids in these acute pain conditions.
Opioids aren’t helpful for short-term relief of back and neck pain. In fact, they may make things worse in the long run.
A groundbreaking trial suggests that opioids should be avoided altogether for these types of pain.
The study involved 347 adults with recent back or neck pain, showing that opioids didn’t provide significant benefits compared to placebo.
Supplemental Information ℹ️
Please note that the information provided above is a summary and interpretation of the original article. It is important to refer to the full study published in The Lancet for a comprehensive understanding of the trial’s methods and results.
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