Withdrawal of Analgesic Medication for Chronic Low-Back Pain Patients: Improvement in Outcomes of Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Regardless of Surgical History.

Crisostomo, Ralph A; Schmidt, John E; Hooten, W Michael; Kerkvliet, Jennifer L; Townsend, Cynthia O; Bruce, Barbara K

The objective of this study was to determine the posttreatment outcomes of multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation that incorporates analgesic medication withdrawal for chronic low-back pain patients on the basis of lumbar spine surgical history.  In a retrospective analysis of 383 consecutive chronic low-back pain patients participating in a 3-wk, outpatient, intensive, multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation program: At admission, patients in both the fusion and nonfusion surgery groups were using more opioids compared with the no-surgery group. Reported pain severity and duration was highest in the fusion group compared with the other groups. Admission to dismissal comparisons showed significant and nearly equal improvements for all groups in health and medication measures.

Study results demonstrate that multidisciplinary pain rehabilitation treatment incorporating analgesic medication withdrawal is associated with significant clinical improvements in physical and emotional functioning, regardless of lumbar spine surgical history.

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2008,    87(7), 527-536

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