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Patients with chronic back pain may get short-term relief from opiods. However, according to a new report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, opiods are not very effective for long-term use. In addition, opiods carry a significant risk of addiction. A quarter of the patients studied who were taking opiods, displayed substance abuse behavior. After analyzing several studies looking at efficacy of pain relievers, the researchers determined that opiods did not appear to be more effective than other types of pain relievers. The researchers found that evidence favoring efficacy of opiods was inconsistent and only supported short-term use. Further, the studies did not demonstrate an “association between pain relief and improvement in functional status.”

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