As you may have heard on the news by now:
Opioid pain killers such as Vicodin, Hydrocodone, and Oxycontin, can be extremely dangerous and addictive when taken over long periods of time. These drugs are typically prescribed by physicians for patients with severe, acute pain, or pain that has been present for less than 6 months. Once pain becomes chronic, or persists longer than 6 months, these heavy pain killers are not effective and are even dangerous. When opioids are taken over long periods of time, the body builds up a tolerance. The body is at risk of becoming dependent on the substance for everyday functioning, and the brain is at risk of addiction, or compulsively seeking out the drug. Many of the patients who take these substances for neck pain or low back pain do so in an attempt to find relief, but sadly come to realize they are not effective for long term pain management.
Patients may not realize, but they have an alternative option in chiropractic care.
A study was recently published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, entitled, “Influence of Initial Provider on Health Care Utilization in Patients Seeking Care for Neck Pain”. This study examined 1,702 patients that either initially went to their general doctor for neck pain, or a chiropractor/physical therapist. The study found that patients who went to either a chiropractor or physical therapist first for treatment of neck pain were much less likely to ever be exposed, or start taking opioid pain killers. This is an important finding, especially when the opioid crisis has been deemed an epidemic that even has the President discussing ways to decrease the number of individuals accessing these potentially harmful and addictive drugs.
To put it bluntly, a chiropractor’s role in the opioid crisis is to keep patients from even starting these drugs in the first place.
This being said, there is still a time and place to see your family doctor for neck and low back pain. It is very important to understand that patients that use a combination of care from their family doctor and their chiropractor have the best results in resolving neck and back pain.
When looking to treating neck and low back pain, research shows that chiropractic care is an appropriate first line of defense. Chiropractic treatment s an alternative option that not all individuals realize they have. The treatments of spinal manipulation, deep tissue muscle release, and exercise, provide pain relief while the body naturally recovers from muscular or joint damage.
Check out Rochester Chirotherapy’s treatment methods to see if we are the right choice for your neck and low back pain.
For more information on the study, check out the link below.
Influence of Initial Provider on Health Care Utilization in Patients Seeking Care for Neck Pain. Horn, Maggie E. et al.. Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Innovations, Quality & Outcomes , Volume 1 , Issue 3 , 226 - 233