The goal is to provide data that will convince payors to reimburse acupuncture treatment in the emergency environment, a stumbling block that has thus far prevented larger-scale implementation. Additionally, researchers hope their work leads to fewer unnecessary opioid prescriptions.
When compared to an initial visit with a primary care physician, patients who initially received care for new-onset low back pain from a chiropractor, physical therapist, or acupuncturist were at lower odds for early and long-term opioid use.
Opioid therapy can be an effective form of pain management in the ED for acute painful conditions. The risk of addiction and abuse should be considered in every case. Alternatives to opioid therapy include systemic agents, such as acetaminophen, NSAIDs, lidocaine, alpha agonists, anticonvulsants, ketamine, corticosteroids, and local and regional anesthesia.