Inadequate pain management coupled with the prescription opioid overuse epidemic has taken a severe toll on the lives of thousands of people right here in the United States. Tens of thousands of people die every year due to the abuse of prescription opioids and overuse has caused a dependency in more than 2 million Americans. Beyond the risks of addiction and overdose, prescription drugs that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is actually less severe than it truly is, or that it has already healed when in fact the pain is just dulled due to the consistent use of prescription drugs.
Using Chiropractic Care as a Non-Drug Treatment for Pain
Many studies over the past few years have shown the benefits of chiropractic as a proven, cost-effective approach to musculoskeletal pain. More recently, there is a growing body of research that validates the effectiveness of chiropractic services for pain management, leading many respected health care organizations to recommend chiropractic and its drug-free approach to pain relief. In 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) updated its guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic low back pain to recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatments before resorting to drug therapies.
According to the Gallup-Palmer College Annual Report on Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic, 62 million U.S. adults (or approximately 25 percent of the US population) went to a chiropractor in the last five years. Of those patients who have visited their chiropractor consistently in the past year, 95 percent say chiropractic care was effective in treating their back or neck pain. Because people with back pain represent a significant portion of opioid users, it makes sense for a healthcare provider to first recommend a drug-free alternative to pain management like chiropractic care. It’s important to note that low-back pain is the single leading cause of physical disability worldwide, making back pain treatment critical in assuring a better quality of life for a majority of people. Chiropractors can (and do) provide safe, effective, affordable drug-free care to patients in pain, making chiropractic care and spinal manipulation a great alternative to prescription opioid drugs.