Back pain is the fifth most common reason people visit their doctor, but now a new study suggests many of these patients may not be treated properly.
The study out of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center shows there's been an increase in narcotic prescriptions for back pain -- and the use of advanced imaging tests -- like CT scans.
The recommended course of treatment for back pain is over-the-counter pain relievers, like advil and tylenol, and physical therapy. within three months most patients experience relief.
Researchers say the shift towards using stronger, narcotic pain relievers could be contributing to substance abuse. and, the use of CT scans could be unnecessarily increasing patients' exposure to radiation.