130 Americans die every day from opioid overdoses. Many of those Americans are taking opioids to relieve pain. Yet less than 20 percent of the public consider chronic pain a major health problem. Chronic pain affects more people than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined, according to the PAINS Project. While it might be easy to dismiss the overdoses as an urban problem confined to junkies in dark alleys, the truth paints a far different picture. For starters, 80 percent of heroin addicts began with prescription painkillers, reported the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Even more telling, 68 percent of the 70,200 overdose deaths in 2017 involved prescription or illicit opioids. Prince and Tom Petty put a public face to the epidemic, but it reaches much deeper, from those struggling with chronic pain to teens raiding their family’s medicine chest and unborn babies who have no choice in sharing their pregnant mothers’ addictions. There are drug free pain management options. As the 2017 Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic annual report discovered, 78 percent of Americans prefer to try other ways of dealing with their chronic pain before filling a prescription. And a growing number of groups, including the American College of Physicians, have called for drug- and surgery-free chiropractic care as a first line of defense in fighting back pain. In fact, most recently a study involving active-duty military personnel, back up their support of chiropractic care. It’s a finding mirrored in other statistics. Ninety-five percent of Americans who sought chiropractic care in the past year said it was effective, according to the 2017 Gallup-Palmer College report, and 97 percent of them said they would see a doctor of chiropractic again if the pain returned. Then there are public accounts, such as Ret. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, who was seriously injured in Iraq when his Humvee hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Once addicted to his prescription painkillers, he now says his doctor of chiropractic saved his life. How does it relieve the pain? According to Harvard Health, the spinal manipulation relieves the pain and improves the body’s functions, helping it to heal itself. Doctors of chiropractic often include physical activity, nutrition and other lifestyle changes in their treatment plans. And in talking with doctors of chiropractic, we often find that it was their own positive experience in receiving chiropractic care that prompted them to become a chiropractor themselves. If you see one of our new billboards around the country, you’ll see our simple message that says, “Back pain? See a chiropractor.” Now you know why. Find a Chiropractor near you with the American Chiropractic Association https://handsdownbetter.org/find-a-doctor/ or if you live in California use California Chiropractor https://www.calchiro.org/#block-block-2
Information provided by Foundations for Chiropractic Progress
FUN FACT: A giraffe has the same number of vertebrae in its neck as a human does. The giraffe’s are much bigger, though.