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Minnesota's Leading Spine Center

Minnesota's Leading Spine Center


Minnesota's Leading Spine Center

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Can Back Pain Treatment Lead to Opioid Addiction?

Spinal Treatments

Recent research indicates that roughly one in five people who see a doctor for chronic pain are prescribed an opioid, which can lead to addiction. How do you know if the benefits of pain relief are worth the risk? Find out what makes addiction more likely and how to avoid it.

If you suffer from chronic back pain, you’re not alone. The number of people with long-term, debilitating low back pain has more than doubled since the 1990s, according to a study conducted by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine 1. If over-the-counter painkillers aren’t enough to keep your pain in check, your doctor may prescribe an opioid medication. Opioids are a type of narcotic pain medicine.

But aren’t opioids dangerous?

Yes, opioids come with risks. They sometimes cause unpleasant side effects. But that may be the least worrisome reason to avoid them. You could become addicted.

An article published by WebMD warns, “These drugs do relieve back pain for short periods, but they’re strong—and they come with some serious risks.” The article explains the risks and lists the factors that make it more likely that you’ll become addicted. It also offers tips on how to avoid addiction.

Non-drug alternatives

If painkillers and other conservative measures aren’t enough to control your back pain, surgery may provide an answer. Inspired Spine has helped many patients avoid the threat of narcotic addition by solving their back problems through surgery. Inspired Spine surgeons offer a number of different, minimally invasive solutions using their unique keyhole surgical technique. By reducing the risks and trauma to surrounding healthy tissue and muscle, these keyhole procedures can put you on the fast track to a pain-free, drug-free life.

Read the WebMD article…


  1. http://www.med.unc.edu/www/newsarchive/2009/february/chronic-low-back-pain-on-the-rise-unc-study-finds-alarming-increase-in-prevalence
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