Just about every day, it seems the news media updates us on the dire state of the “opioid epidemic” in the US. We know that this situation has been building for some time, and has now reached into every segment of society. Some of the alarming statistics from the CDC include:
- One in four patients who receive prescription painkillers will struggle with addiction
- More than 1,000 patients are treated in the emergency room for opioid misuse, every day
- Deaths involving opioids have multiplied by six times since 1999
- In 2017, more than 47,000 people died of overdoses related to opioid painkillers
- More than 2 million people abused or were addicted to opioids in 2017
Unfortunately, these statistics only comprise part of the picture. The personal, economic, and sociological costs of painkiller abuse and addiction are nearly incalculable.
There is no magic cure for this problem, and it won’t be solved in any short amount of time. However, for a number of patients, other treatment options may provide a preferred route to pain management and help them to avoid or overcome dependency upon prescription painkillers.
Chiropractic care is one of those routes. In 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) updated their recommendations regarding treatment for chronic pain. Now they recommend that in cases of acute or chronic low back pain, non-invasive, non-drug treatments should be attempted before pain relief drugs.
ACP Guidelines, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, cite spinal manipulation (a chiropractic technique) as one of those preferred treatments. Others include heat therapy, massage, and acupuncture.
Often, chiropractic care can reduce or eliminate many types of pain, helping the patient to avoid prescription opioid painkillers entirely. Even when medications are warranted, the ACP recommends ibuprofen or muscle relaxants, with opioids regarded as an absolute last-resort option.
If you’re experiencing back pain, neck pain, headaches, or other types of pain for which prescription drugs are being considered, be aware that chiropractic care could be a much better solution. Call us for a consultation, and together we will create a plan for healing that can help you avoid potentially dangerous medications.