More people are using prescription narcotics for back pain, according to a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School.

FOX News Radio's Bill Vitka reports:

Instead of the guidelines doctors are turning to powerful drugs for the treatment of back pain. The guidelines include over-the-counter medication and physical therapy.

But the latest study which appears in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds doctors pretty much doing the opposite. Prescriptions for narcotic painkillers have jumped 51% since 1999. And scripts for over-the-counter drugs had fallen by the same amount.

In cases of acute back pain the study authors note narcotics provide little or no benefit.

Bill Vitka, FOX News Radio.