Alternatives to prescription pain meds

Published 10:00 pm Friday, October 28, 2016

Americans, constituting only 4.6 percent of the world’s population, have been consuming 80 percent of the global opioid supply, and 99 percent of the global hydrocodone supply. At stake is the health and welfare of millions of Americans, with many lives literally hanging in the balance.

From the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999, as have sales of these prescription drugs. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 people — three times the U.S. military deaths during the 20 years of the Vietnam War — have died in the U.S. from overdoses related to prescription opioids.

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For the overwhelming number of people who suffer with chronic pain, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, non-invasive and cost-effective alternative to opioid drugs. The time has come for putting patient safety and health above self-interest and profits.

Chiropractic care is a hands-on, non-invasive approach documented to be effective in the acute and chronic neuro-musculoskeletal pain environment, yielding improved clinical outcomes, reduced costs and high levels of patient satisfaction.

Chiropractic patients may receive spinal adjustments and/or alternative drugless therapies that assist the innate capabilities of the body to relieve pain, restore health and prevent disease. Chiropractic adjustments may aid in musculoskeletal mobilization to reduce pain and improve function.

Chiropractic care takes on even greater importance when one considers the opportunity it offers to potentially avoid the risks of prescription opioids: misuse, abuse, and opioid use disorder (addiction). In 2014, almost two million Americans abused or were dependent 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.


The importance of chiropractic care is further amplified since many individuals are prescribed opioids for back, low back and neck pain, headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal conditions and other related conditions.

The most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders are arthritis and related conditions; back and neck pain; injuries from falls, work, military service and sports; and osteoporosis, a loss of bone density increasing fracture risk, primarily in older women. Back and neck pain affects nearly one in three, or 75.7 million adults in the U.S.

Reports from the CDC confirm that 17 percent of adults have experienced a migraine or severe headache, 15 percent have experienced pain in the neck area, 29 percent had experienced pain in the lower back, and 5 percent had experienced pain in the face or jaw area.

Collectively, this data adds up to millions of Americans who suffer with chronic pain related to specific conditions – people who could potentially find relief with chiropractic care and benefit from improved overall health.

~ article submitted by James R. Baker, DC