New Study Explains Why Opioids Did Not Work As Intended
What do you mean opioids did not work? Yes, according to a new six-year study. I was reading my Opera newsfeed last night and came across a shocking headline.
Yes, articles have appeared on the CutCompCosts website that identified opioids as another workers comp buzzword.
On a quick side note, if you want to have a free privacy internet browser with a free VPN – check out Opera. It was recommended to me by multiple Gen Zers. The link is here.
I digress – often, a study glues together many other studies to derive some type of conclusion. That was not the case here. The study was a hands-on study. The sponsors/funding of the study were medical organizations and an Australian governmental safety organization.
According to the article published in the Lancet
Because of scarce research, the scientists studied the effectiveness and safety of using opioids to treat a small cohort of 310 people. The patients had sought help for neck or lower back pain from primary care clinics or hospitals in Sydney between February 2016 and March 2022. At the beginning of the study, participants were about age 44 on average and had experienced at least moderately painful neck or lower back pain or both for 12 weeks or less.
Following 310 people for six years seemed to be a thorough study. I do recommend reading the study abstract in the prior link. It is your 4th of July workers comp reading assignment.
Study Conclusion = Opioids Did Not Work
The controversial conclusion –
Opioids should not be recommended for acute non-specific low back pain or neck pain given that we found no significant difference in pain severity compared with a placebo. This finding calls for a change in the frequent use of opioids for these conditions.
Opioids remain a hot topic. Working in the workers’ comp world for over 30 years has shown me that a certain percentage of injured workers have abused opioids in claims. The worst that I have seen is noticing a truck driver had in his possession at one time = 500 Vicodin.
It is becoming more apparent that other medical treatment strategies to return an injured worker to gainful employment other than opioids for pain would be a good idea.
If opioids did not work in this hands-on study, can one turn to NSAIDs? Check out this article or Google Celecoxib.