People with chronic pain are genuinely suffering, yet opioid drugs can actually make their pain worse (opioid-induced hyperalgesia) while leading them into dependency and serious risk of overdose and death.
In fact, a recent study found that over a 12-month period, treatment with opioids was no better than treatment with nonopioid medications such as ibuprofen for improving pain-related function.
Fortunately, the chiropractic profession offers effective, drug-free approaches to pain management. Chiropractic care is well-documented to help lower back pain.
A 2018 study in JAMA Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation showed that combining chiropractic care with usual medical care for military patients with low back pain led to a statistically significant improvement in low back pain intensity and disability at six weeks, compared to those who received only usual medical care.
These patients got better faster and needed less pain medicine.
An interesting 2017 study in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that low back pain relief provided by chiropractic services leads to markedly lower use of prescription opioids.
In this study, patients in New Hampshire (a state with the second-highest rate of overdose deaths) who received chiropractic care for documented low back pain were 55 percent less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid than patients who didn’t receive chiropractic services.
Those who got chiropractic care and still filled an opioid prescription had lower costs than those who didn’t get chiropractic care, suggesting that they needed the prescription for a shorter time, reducing their risk of addiction.
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