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Are alternative methods for chronic pain as effective as opioids?

Drugs that are used in the treatment of chronic pain may cause severe side effects. Now a study by scientists has shown that non-drug treatment is as much effective as treatment with drugs.

Chronic painAbout ten million people in US suffer from chronic pain. Many of them turned in permanent medication – often opioids. Now scientists have found that strong painkillers that were taken over a long period, have the same effect as a treatment without drugs.

For their meta-analysis, the researchers conducted more than 3,600 studies in more detail. Overall, the researchers data from nearly 11,000 patients are finally published. The results showed that even strong opioids not significantly eased the pain of patients comparing with other methods, such as physical therapy or psychotherapy. However, this does not apply to pain that occur as a result of cancer.

The authors of study were surprised by the results and are now warning against a hasty prescribing opioids. It has been shown, that in the long run the pain-relieving effects of drug therapy are clinically insignificant in comparison to a placebo.