For decades, Big Pharma made a fortune selling opioid drugs to people with back pain. We all know how that turned out.
The medications didn’t do much for the pain. But they did turn thousands of people into addicts. And now, more than 63,000 Americans die each year from overdoses.
Today, most back pain sufferers know better than to take opioids. But Big Pharma hasn’t given up trying to profit from back pain.
Low back pain affects 31 million Americans. It’s the number one cause of disability in the U.S. That means it offers a huge customer base for drug companies.i
And now they are again colluding with mainstream doctors to profit from your pain.
They’re pushing anticonvulsant drugs as the solution to common low back pain. And their new profit scheme is working.
Prescriptions for the anticonvulsant drug gabapentin have jumped from 39 million to 64 million in just five years. Sales of another anticonvulsant, pregabalin have more than doubled in less than 10 years.ii
These drugs have long been used to treat epilepsy. They are also prescribed for nerve pain from diabetic neuropathy.iii
Big Pharma decided that since the drugs work for damaged nerves, they should work for back pain, too…even though there’s no quality research showing that’s true. But they have convinced many doctors to prescribe anticonvulsants as an “off-label use” for low back pain.
Big Pharma’s Bogus Back Pain Solution
Australian researchers investigated whether all the money patients were spending on anticonvulsants was actually alleviating their back pain.
They reviewed nine clinical trials that evaluated the effectiveness of anticonvulsants on low back pain.iv
The drugs are worthless for back pain.
“They are not effective for low back pain and radiating leg pain,” said lead study author Dr. Christine Lin.
She is an associate professor in musculoskeletal health at the University of Sydney in Australia. “And they are associated with increased risk of side effects,” she added.
Side effects include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, and trouble thinking.v
The study recently was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Anticonvulsants are touted as being safer than opioids. But here’s something your doctor may not tell you—or even know—when prescribing gabapentin: It is also addictive. It is widely abused. Among street drug dealers, gabapentin pills are known as “gabbies” or “johnnies.”vi
Dr. Lin said there was a never a scientific basis for prescribing anticonvulsants for low back pain. Exercise or physical therapy are more effective.
“The most important thing is to know that the pain will ease with time, and to stay active and avoid bed rest,” she advised.
Natural Treatments That End Back Pain
Almost any kind of exercise can help heal your back. Slowly stretching your back muscles can reduce spasms and pain. Yoga stretches work particularly well.
Massage is effective, too. A study published in the journal Pain Medicine found that more than half of sufferers experienced relief.
Certain foods and supplements can also speed your recovery:
Krill oil: Research shows a krill oil supplement can reduce inflammation by up to 20% in just one week. Krill oil also gives you a dose of astaxanthin. This potent antioxidant—65 times more powerful than vitamin C— helps fight inflammation. Take a 300-mg dose of a quality krill oil supplement once a day.
Tart cherries: Tart cherries are a strong anti-inflammatory. Anthocyanins, the compounds that give cherries their red color, are the active ingredients.
One study found that eating about 20 tart cherries fights inflammatory pain as well or better than a pain-relieving drug.
If you can’t find organic tart cherries in your supermarket, look for tart cherry extract. It’s widely available online or in health food stores.
If you prefer a topical approach, apply capsaicin ointment to the area of your back that hurts. Capsaicin is what gives peppers their heat. Many back sufferers report it brings fast relief.
Don’t fall victim to Big Pharma’s latest pain pill racket. The proven natural solutions above can bring you effective relief—without the side effects of anticonvulsant drugs.
Editor’s Note: Can CBD or medical marijuana relieve your chronic pain? You won’t get straight answers from the mainstream media.
Read our monthly journal Independent Healing to learn which conditions cannabis-based remedies can effectively treat, and which ones they can’t.