Clinical use: back pain

Cathy Stannard, Michael Coupe and Anthony Pickering

in Opioids in Non-Cancer Pain

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2013 | ISBN: 9780199678075
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191757464 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Pain Management Library

Clinical use: back pain

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  • Clinical Oncology
  • Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Pain Medicine


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Back pain is common; few people need or request medical treatment; fewer still require opioid therapy. Opioids are best used as part of a multimodal rehabilitation plan. Evidence that opioids are effective analgesics for the treatment of low back pain and that they confer functional benefit comes from short-term studies. Little is known about the long-term effectiveness of opioids in the management of low back pain. Persistent pain following spinal surgery (failed back surgery syndrome) is difficult to manage: a trial of opioid therapy may be reasonable for this condition.

Chapter.  2329 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Oncology ; Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics ; Pain Medicine

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