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Each year, thousands of Americans suffer lower back injuries at work, forcing them to apply for workers’ compensation or even social security disability. For many, the problem is a debilitating one, with very few paths to a painless future.
However, a doctor and back pain specialist at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System has a new suggestion for his patients: go home, take two aspirin, and wait it out.
A solution to common back pain?
Common back pain, particularly in the lower back affects thousands of individuals across the country. However, doctors are beginning to liken it to the common cold. It’s annoying and common, but ultimately not serious.
Even for patients with chronic back pain, defined as back pain lasting at least 12 weeks, doctors are recommending stretching, yoga and even acupuncture.
The real question is whether or not doctors en masse will adopt this new way of thinking.
Dr. James Weinstein, who also serves as the chief executive at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health System, is agreeing with the American College of Physicians, who take the same approach, according to a recent article by the New York Times.
This new approach has come at a time when many physicians are growing wary of over-medicating patients and jumping on medication as the first line of defense against common ailments and injuries.
With the U.S.’s growing dependence on opioids and other painkillers, doctors are becoming worried of an increasingly medicated public becoming even more addicted to dangerous, and even fatal, drugs. As such, many are moving towards recommending therapies and more traditional methods (like rest and stretching).