Approach to Use of Opioids in Patients with Low Back Pain

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By Roger Chou, MD, FACP
Associate Professor of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Director, the Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center

Module Description: Low back pain is extremely common and can be difficult to treat.  Although opioids are frequently used to treat low back pain, evidence showing long-term benefits is limited, and opioids are associated with important adverse effects.  This module provides clinicians with an approach to using opioids in low back pain that emphasizes the need to consider opioids only within an overall pain management plan that addresses psychosocial contributors to pain, recognizes that opioids are not first-line treatment for low back pain and may not be appropriate in all patients, utilizes non-opioid treatments, and routinely incorporates risk mitigation and reassessment strategies.

Note: This online module is not designated for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.