Chiropractors and alternative pain management clinicians may be the answer the country needs to end opioid abuse. Doctors often prescribe opioids to combat debilitating medical symptoms that arise due to underlying medical causes ranging from managing pain from migraine headaches, to reducing pain following an injury or surgery. In fact, over 259 million prescriptions for opioids are written each year– a number equivalent to giving every American adult 1.5 bottles of opioids. 1
Though administered for various reasons, even using opioids as prescribed can lead to addiction when left unmonitored. When interviewed, many opioid addicts trace their first uses of the drugs back to their need to relieve pain.2 New research is pointing to alternative medicine and its various natural and healing benefits as being the key to reduce or eliminate opioid addiction epidemic. And, benefits of chiropractic are leading the way in transforming how Americans are managing and relieving their pain without medication of any kind.
According to the New Hampshire Chiropractic Association, chiropractic care serves to cut down on the use of opiate pain medicines as it relates to back-related pain and injuries. In a Dartmouth study3, a doctor studied 33,000 lower back pain patients to determine how their use of chiropractic services related to their use of pain medication. Preliminary research has found that when chiropractic care regimes are followed to treat lower back issues, patients used 57% fewer opioids as their level of pain was dramatically reduced with traditional chiropractic treatments.
Yet, despite research findings, the current health insurance structure favors the use of prescription drugs. Chiropractic services are either not covered or insufficiently covered as part of a standard medical insurance plan, leaving patients stuck to pay the bill or struggling to pay high co-pays. This incentivizes patients to see their primary care physician to help with pain management. Most physicians lack the extensive training to administer natural, pain-relieving alternatives and instead often turn to encouraging patients to use prescription drugs.
As the debate of how to best manage the growing opioid crisis intensifies, lawmakers and local government officials will have to consider the role that alternative medicine can play. To shift the conversation, insurance providers must be lobbied to expand their coverage and lower co-pays to make services like acupuncture and regular chiropractic care more affordable and accessible to all.
If you’re silently suffering from mild to severe back pain, or have chronic debilitating pain in other areas of your body, then now is the time to consider scheduling a full-body evaluation with the experienced doctors at Corrective Chiropractic. Our doctors will meet with you to discuss your current pain concerns and create a comprehensive and all-natural pain management plan to get you feeling like yourself again – without the need for pain medication.