It’s one of the most serious problems currently facing the country and the statistics are sobering. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 90 Americans die every day of an opioid overdose. About 21 to 29 percent of patients who are prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them and between 8 and 12 percent of patients develop an opioid use disorder. It’s estimated that between 4 to 6 percent of those who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin and about 80 percent of heroin users first misused prescription opioids. The economic cost to our country is also great, as it’s estimated that prescription opioid misuse costs the U.S. $78.5 million per year. America is fighting a war on opioid abuse and chiropractors are on the front lines of this battle.
Total Chiropractic Care Offers Healthy Pain Management Alternatives
At Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness, we can help patients deal with pain without resorting to prescription painkillers. In fact, chiropractic care is an ideal way to manage pain without having to worry about addiction. So we want to give you some information about how chiropractic care is helping to fight the opioid crisis.
The New Guidelines for Back Pain Treatment
One of the ways the medical community is fighting back against opioids is in the area of back pain. Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians (ACP) updated their guidelines for treatment of lower back pain, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). The recommendations stress using non-aggressive treatments that don’t involve drug prescriptions as the first line of defense against chronic lower back pain.
The guidelines cite treatments such as the spinal manipulation techniques often used in chiropractic care as alternatives to prescription drugs. The guidelines state that prescription opioids should be used as a last resort.
Other Policy Considerations
The ACA Guidelines are a start, but there’s a lot more work to do and chiropractic care can be a big part of that. The website Politico recently put together a group of healthcare policy makers and stakeholders to discuss further steps that can be taken to address the opioid crisis. One of the areas that they discussed was alternative pain treatments and the idea that they should be financially incentivized. One of the problems is that it’s very easy to get a prescription pill, while the time and effort to see a specialist such as a chiropractor or physical therapist costs patients time and money.
The participants recommended that additional resources be allocated for alternative treatments. Dr. Keith Overland, an ACA spokesman with a practice based in Connecticut told US News and World Report that chiropractic care can play a significant role in pain management and can help stop patients from even getting the prescriptions in the first place.
“This is an epidemic that is 100 percent preventable,” Overland said.
Total Chiropractic Can Be an Alternative to Medication and Surgery
If you’re dealing with chronic pain, why deal with the dangers of medication or potential complications of surgery? It may not be necessary if you are treated at Total Chiropractic Care and Wellness. We’ll help design a pain management plan and keep you away from the pills. Contact us today.
Please note that the author of this piece is not a doctor and the information in this material is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for specific information regarding your individual situation.