Opioids are often prescribed early for low back pain, despite guideline recommendations advocating against this practice. Low back pain is a leading cause of work disability in North America and the use of opioids among injured workers in North America has been a significant source of concern among workers’ compensation organizations for more than a decade. Whether opioids provided early in the course of a low back pain injury influence work-related outcomes is an important treatment consideration, particularly given trends toward a high prevalence of use.
You will learn:
- The findings of previous research examining use of opioids in the early stages of a work-related low back pain injury and work-related outcomes
- An overview of findings from a new study comparing early use of opioids for work-related low back injuries to NSAIDs and muscle relaxants on work disability
- Limitations of current research in this area and implications for research, policy and practice
Dr. Dr. Nancy Carnide is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. She has a PhD in Epidemiology from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. During her PhD, she was the recipient of a Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship and a CIHR Strategic Training Fellowship in Work Disability Prevention. Dr. Carnide’s current research interests lie at the intersection between occupational health and safety and substance use. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the use of prescription opioids among workers with work-related low back pain and their association with work disability. Her emerging program of research builds on this work to examine use and non-medical use of prescription and recreational central nervous system drugs among workers, their risk factors, and the workplace consequences of their use.