Lyrica; A new study questions its usage on patients with lower back pain who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia


Lyrica; A new study questions its usage on patients with lower back pain who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

Fibromyalgia is typically treated medicinally by Lyrica, which seems to alleviate the chronic diffuse pain in some patients. Doctors were recommending the drug for lower back pain in those who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Perhaps, with this new study, doctors will take a fresh look at managing the chronic lower back pain in those who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

In Europe, Lyrica is used as a sleep improvement medication and according to Alan Lichtbraun MD, a well known rheumatologist in East Brunswick, NJ, he said in a conversation I had with him about two years ago that the effect of Lyrica may be in the way it improved the quality of sleep in patients who were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, since it has been shown in studies that a lack of sleep may worsen chronic pain symptoms. Dr. Lichtbraun was on the panel of physicians who created the Fibromyalgia classification.

From the chiropractic perspective, we look at things from a mechanical cause and effect relationship as to why chronic back pain exists. In the book, Cheating Mother Nature, what you need to know to beat chronic pain, it explains the mechanical underpinnings of why people hurt, and considering chronic pain without considering and evaluating body mechanics, is more the problem than the solution.

According to my conversations earlier this year with Stephen Pearle, the dean in the Bridgeport College of Chiropractic, he had done a study a number of years back that says that people who have the condition rheumatologists were trying to describe have no fibro and no algia. In other words, there was a true problem of finding reliable clinical findings in those patients who were in pain and there is a mis-wiring in the nervous system that seemed to be the reason for the pain rather than the patient having a clinically significant physical condition behind the pain. Apparently, in some circles, the limbic system seems to be the problem but may people have been walking around with the diagnosis of Fibromyalgia who really just have a myofascial pain syndrome that can be clinically managed through a chiropractor very effectively, especially when it comes to the lower back aspect.

Recommending Lyrica is no different than throwing other therapies at the problem of lower back pain in these patients, without taking the time to fully evaluate and treat the patient for the mechanical basis of the pain first. The science of movement and the application of that science is being used by some of the most forward thinking sports chiropractic physicians with remarkable results.

Check out the study here. I think more studies like it will also show that using Lyrica in many cases merely reduces symptoms in the absence of a better level of knowledge of how to evaluate these patients mechanically first. Since most physicians visits are very brief in the USA these days, and a proper evaluation is much more time consuming, perhaps a rethinking of funding and how to evaluate and treat these patients is a better and more cost effective approach long term than using Lyrica whose relief lasts as long as the prescription.

Lyrica’s use for treating lower back pain in fibromyalgia questioned

By Lana Bandoim

A new study from the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery reveals that Lyrica may not be the right treatment for lower back pain in fibromyalgia or other disorders. Lyrica is technically not approved to be used as a treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis, but the off-label use of this drug is extremely common for the condition. However, research reveals it may not be an effective way to manage pain.
Lyrica or pregabalin is approved for fibromyalgia, shingles, diabetic peripheral neuropathy and several other conditions. It is also commonly prescribed off-label for disorders that are not listed. Chronic pain is a serious issue for patients suffering from lumbar spinal stenosis, and the medication is given to control it. However, researchers from the University of Rochester Department of Neurosurgery tested the pain levels in patients with lower back pain who received Lyrica and found they did not report any significant pain differences compared to the placebo group. This indicates that the medication was not providing relief in the study, and now many fibromyalgia patients who take this drug are becoming concerned.

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