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Low back pain and the connection to the opioid epidemic


Last updated 12/6/2019 at 2:43am

Dr. John Chang

UnitedHealthcare of California

For the scores of Californians with low back pain, the condition can range from a minor nuisance to a major disability. For some, it may even lead to opioid use and abuse. In fact, opioids are prescribed for 9% of people with new-onset low back pain, ranking it the most common reason for an opioid prescription.

Nearly 70% of people experience low back pain at least once in their lifetime, and about one-quarter of adults in the United States report experiencing the condition in the past three months. The causes vary, including previous injury,...

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