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Chiropractic Care and Opioid Reduction

gentleman on bright blue benchChiropractic management of mechanical spine pain is being used with much greater frequency in healthcare. It also is recognized by evidence-based scientific literature as a safe and effective alternative to the use of opioids to control spine pain.

A recent study found that chiropractic care can actually reduce the amount of opioids that are used by patients with back pain.

Utilization of non-pharmacological pain management may prevent unnecessary use of opioids.” In further support of the published evidence they write, “Increasing attention is being paid to the potential of nonpharmacological pain treatment as an upstream strategy for addressing the opioid epidemic.

The increased role of the chiropractic profession in the management of spine pain is further supported by medical associations and agencies across the country. As the Whedon study explains, “The Institute of Medicine has recommended the use of non-pharmacological therapies as effective alternatives to pharmacotherapy for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.”

The report continues by stating, “Recently published clinical guidelines from The American College of Physicians recommend non-pharmacological treatment as the first line approach to treating back pain, with consideration of opioids only as the last treatment option or if other options present substantial risk to the patient.”

Chiropractic is the third largest health profession in the United States. Chiropractors treat spinal pain without the use of drugs by using a variety of techniques, including spinal manipulation and exercise in accordance with international clinical practice guidelines.

The pRescription Painkiller Graph

“A retrospective claims study of 165,569 adults diagnosed with low back pain found that utilization of services delivered by DCs was associated with reduced use of opioids. The supply of DCs, as well as spending on spinal manipulative therapy, is inversely correlated with opioid prescriptions in disabled Medicare beneficiaries under age 65.”

“Among patients with spinal pain disorders, for recipients of chiropractic care, the risk of filling a prescription for an opioid analgesic over a six-year period was reduced by half, as compared with nonrecipients. Among those who saw a chiropractor within 30 days of being diagnosed with a spinal pain disorder, the reduction in risk was greater as compared with those who visited a chiropractor after the acute phase had passed.”

The authors report an incredible statistic, “Additionally, the protective effect of chiropractic care was sustained beyond 1,200 days after the index date in Massachusetts and beyond 1,500 days in the other states, indicating that once chiropractic treatment has been engaged in the acute phase, patients experience a lasting benefit that is measurable in years.”

Chiropractic Care Options

In other words, this study and several others show that chiropractic care reduces the use of opioids for people with chronic or prolonged back pain. Medicare beneficiaries with a disability under age 65 are also far less likely to use opioids when chiropractic care is used. Chiropractic techniques are an evidence-based option to avoid the use of opioids for pain that has been substantiated by multiple scientific studies. And, chiropractic care effectively reduces the use of opioids for people with chronic back pain over an extended period of time by half.

I understand that living with chronic pain can be physically and psychologically draining. But for most people there are real alternatives to opioids and other medications that can cause dangerous side-effects, addiction or even death.

At Precision Spinal Care, I will perform a thorough examination of you before any treatment is performed or prescribed. I will sit with you and answer all of your questions after the initial examination and evaluation.

If it is determined that chiropractic is not the best solution, I will explain your condition and recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you look for expert chiropractic care. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all the options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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