For many Americans struggling with opioid addiction, it didn’t start with drug-filled needles or fentanyl-laced heroin, but with something far more common and less sinister: pain.
More than 30 percent of Americans experience acute or chronic pain, and as emphasis on pain treatment has grown in the last two decades, prescriptions for opioids have skyrocketed in tandem with the escalation of the opioid epidemic.
Chiropractic care is part of the solution. As a national health emergency is declared and resources are allocated to combat the very complex issue of opioid abuse, chiropractors around the nation are raising their hands—to say “We can help!”
Chiropractic is increasingly recognized as a safe, effective, and affordable drug-free treatment for back and neck pain. According to the Gallup-Palmer College Annual Report on Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic, 62 million U.S. adults (25 percent) went to a chiropractor in the last five years. Of those past-year chiropractic users, 95 percent say chiropractic was effective in treating their back or neck pain.
Chiropractic treats numerous sources and types of pain, including:
- Lower back pain
- Shoulder pain
Patients who choose chiropractic treatment have:
- shorter recovery times
- less reliance on medications
- enjoy significant improvements in symptoms such as pain
Chiropractic Care and the Opioid Epidemic Treatment
Patients and health-care providers must choose, and sometimes demand, conservative forms of pain management like chiropractic care. This before moving on to riskier and potentially addictive treatments such as opioids.
Your chiropractor has a variety of drug-free, noninvasive methods for addressing chronic pain. The most famous of these are adjustments to treat spinal subluxations (misalignment). The result of subluxations is typically pinched nerves that often lead to chronic pain. Your chiropractor may also use spinal decompression to address misalignment. This is a common treatment for sciatica and herniated discs.
In addition to adjustments and decompression, many chiropractors incorporate acupuncture and massage therapy to reduce pain. Finally, they work with you to make lifestyle changes that promote overall health and wellness, including changes to diet and exercise.
Chiropractic care offers a natural solution to pain relief, one that treats the underlying issue rather than simply masking your pain.