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Opioids may prolong return to work after lower back injuries

The opioid epidemic is proof that there's no one-size-fits-all solution to managing pain. Opioids work for some people. For others, they don't. Opioids become addictive for some people. For others, they don't. And of those who struggle with addiction - even when they've recovered from their original injuries - there are still others who say that opioids help get them through a day that would otherwise be filled with debilitating pain.

But now there's another black mark against opioids.

It comes by way of a study done by the Workers Compensation Research Institute in Massachusetts. As Safety+Health magazine reports, long-term opioid use delays the return to work after an injury. Researchers studied five years of workers' comp claims from 28 states. In general, employees who used opioids for a year and refilled three or more times toward the end of that year (for the original injury) took 251 percent longer to get back to work than those who weren't prescribed opioids.

The WCRI researchers analyzed cases involving lower back pain. They stated that long-term use of opioid painkillers is not recommended to treat lower back pain (in non-surgical cases).

And according to the International Association for the Study of Pain, "There is increasing evidence suggesting that these agents [opioid painkillers] may have diminished efficacy in the treatment of LBP."

Call Cousins, Desrosiers & Morizio, P.C.

If you've been injured in an on-the-job accident, call the Connecticut workers' comp lawyers of Cousins, Desrosiers & Morizio, P.C. at 866-225-9496.

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