The worsening epidemic of opioid abuse across the United States needs new, effective solutions. One way to reduce the use of opioids in cases in which patients are experiencing pain is to incorporate chiropractic care into their treatment. Research is finding and patients are experiencing first-hand how chiropractic care can assist in reducing pain without the need for opioid prescriptions.
Every patient’s treatment case plan must be individualized, and to that end, perhaps some level of opioid prescription medications are appropriate for some. If a patient is experiencing pain due to injury of the back, spine, or neck, then chiropractic could be an effective alternative remedy.
More and more Americans are seeking relief from chiropractors with more than 22 million people seeking spinal manipulation for pain relief, and that number is rising.
Even medical collectives are pronouncing their interest in the success seen by the chiropractic field in battling the opioid epidemic by combating pain with manual adjustments first. Indeed, the American College of Physicians updated its guidelines in 2017 to recommend chiropractic and other non-invasive, non-drug treatments of back pain before trying prescription opioids.
In fact, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress published a policy study recently entitled Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy than Opioids. This compelling resource offers data that promotes a more comprehensive and early utilization of chiropractic in combating the national opioid crisis.
Spinal manipulation – the main component of a chiropractic adjustment – aims to eliminate stress on the nervous system and allows your body to rejuvenate normal joint movement and lessen pain, among other benefits. The use of this type of manual manipulation places a focus on natural healing rather than treatments that rely solely on addictive prescription pain medications.
Research continues to show the advantages of pain management treatment plans that include chiropractic manipulation, and studies have listed benefits of chiropractic to include pain reduction, decreased inflammation, more sound sleep, and improved organ function.
If you are seeking relief from pain and are hesitant to rely on prescription opioids, then looking to chiropractic treatments might be a viable option. As researchers continue to study the benefits of chiropractic pain management, their compelling results might lead the country out of the opioid epidemic.
Another group that is closely monitoring the relationship between pain, opioids, and chiropractic treatment are insurance companies. In late 2018, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) conducted a study to understand the landscape of coverage for non-pharmaceutical treatments for chronic pain. While the study found that most plans covered core therapies like occupational therapy and chiropractic care, insurance was under-serving patients by placing visit limits and referral requirements on these treatments alternative to pharmaceuticals.
We at the Injury Care Center believe that patient-centered, holistic treatment of pain management is the best practice, and in some cases, that does mean prescribing opioids to reduce pain. It is critical to recognize that opioid use for chronic pain management is often essential and appropriate. Importantly, a combination of medication, physical therapy, chiropractic, and nutritional consistency can lead a patient toward a happier, healthier life.
That is why we wake up every day to serve those in the local community who deserve the best care following work injury, car accident, which results in Back Pain, Neck Pain, Shoulder Pain, Concussion, Headaches, etc.