Dear reader It's National Chiropractic Month in October. Studies show patients are more satisfied with chiropractors than with regular doctor visits. It has been proven to be a valuable tool during the opioid health crisis. Below are some interesting facts from The American Chiropractic Association, of which I am a lifetime member.
Chronic pain is a pervasive and growing problem in the United States. It is estimated that about 20% of adults in the U.S. – or one in five — experience chronic pain. It is more common among older adults, females, unemployed adults who worked previously, veterans, adults living in poverty, people in non-metropolitan areas, and those with public health insurance. New cases occur more frequently among adults than new cases of other common chronic conditions such as diabetes, depression and high blood pressure. There has been a rise in the prevalence of mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety in the past few years, and research shows these conditions can exacerbate chronic pain – and vice versa. Chronic Pain and musculoskeletal conditions are especially problematic due to related costs and disability. Globally, back pain ranks as one of the most common and debilitating causes of chronic pain. The number of people worldwide living with back pain is projected to rise 36% over the next 30 years, from 619 million currently to 843 million in 2050. In the U.S., low back pain is one of the leading reasons why people are prescribed opioids however prescription opioids are not a good strategy for managing low back pain long term. Clinical guidelines encourage patients with common musculoskeletal conditions to try non-drug treatments first. Research supports the use of non-drug approaches such as chiropractic services to manage pain and to reduce reliance on prescription opioids. As many as one in four people who receive prescription opioids long term for non-cancer pain in primary care settings struggle with addiction. Visiting a chiropractor first for treatment for back pain may reduce the likelihood of receiving an opioid prescription later.
Research supports the use of non-drug approaches such as chiropractic services for chronic pain and to reduce reliance on prescription opioids.
A 2018 study focusing on adults with office visits for noncancer low back pain found that the likelihood of filling an opioid prescription was significantly lower (55% lower) for recipients of services delivered by chiropractors compared with nonrecipients.
A study published in the journal Pain Medicine found that chiropractic users had 64% lower odds of receiving an opioid prescription than non-users.
The Department of Veterans Affairs reports that it reduced opioid prescriptions by 63% using its Whole Health approach, which includes non-drug treatments for pain such as chiropractic care.
From 59%-90% of those who use alternative therapies (e.g., chiropractic) for chronic pain find it to be helpful.
Visiting a chiropractor first for treatment for common musculoskeletal conditions may reduce the likelihood of receiving an opioid prescription later.
A 2017 study published by the Mayo Clinic found that people with neck pain initiating care with chiropractors had lower odds of using advanced imaging, injections and opioid medications.
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that patients who saw a chiropractor as their initial provider for low back pain had 90% decreased odds of both early and long-term opioid use.
A 2022 study focusing on older Medicare beneficiaries with spinal pain found that use of chiropractic care is associated with a significantly lower (56% lower) risk of filling an opioid prescription.
If you or someone you know is suffering and in pain, you can book a complimentary Get Out of Pain 15-minute consult with me. As always, here's to your best health! Dr. Linda
FUN FACT All 32 NFL teams have their own chiropractor to boost performance, maintain wellness and treat musculoskeletal strain and injury. Unbeknownst to many, infants can benefit greatly from chiropractic care. It makes sense—birth can be pretty hard on a little body! The adjustment is adapted to suit their needs and is perfectly safe.