ACP guidelines? What are those?
Dealing with low back or neck pain? There is a good chance that you have visited your medical doctor to discuss treatment options for your back or neck pain. The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the second largest medical organization in the US behind only the AMA. It is comprised of medical doctors that are internists or internal medicine doctors. Internal medicine doctors are typically your primary care physician that takes care of adults only. And if you have a specialist doctor like a cardiologist or an orthopedist, there is a great chance that their initial training was in internal medicine.
Definition of Guideline: a general rule, principle, or piece of advice.
Guidelines for physicians are designed to help them with decision making when dealing with a certain condition like headaches or lower back pain. It gives them a synopsis of the latest research and the recommended best way to treat that condition. The ACP released an update to the previous guideline for treating low back pain in February 2017 and it was published in the journal The Annals of Internal Medicine. The update stated the following:
- What should be tried first are non-drug therapies such as superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation. Did they say SM the bread and butter the treatment of choice of chiropractors?
- Physicians should avoid prescribing unnecessary tests (x-rays for example) and costly and potentially harmful drugs, especially narcotics.
The bottom line is if your primary care physician is not recommending or referring you out to a chiropractor, they are doing you a disservice. Gone are the days of just medicating someone with stronger and stronger pain killing medications that treat only symptoms and never fix the cause.
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