Chiropractic Care And The Opioid Epidemic
A recent study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics has found that chiropractic care can help reduce opioid use in patients with chronic low back pain. The study, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, found that patients who received chiropractic care were more likely to reduce their use of opioids than those who received standard medical care.
The study included 120 patients with chronic low back pain who were taking opioids. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either chiropractic care or standard medical care. The standard medical care consisted of physical therapy, exercise, and education.
The patients who received chiropractic care were more likely to reduce their use of opioids than those who received standard medical care. After six months, the patients who received chiropractic care were taking an average of 12.5 fewer opioid pills per day than those who received standard medical care.
The study’s findings suggest that chiropractic care can be an effective way to reduce opioid use in patients with chronic low back pain. This is important because the opioid epidemic is a major public health crisis in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 109,000 people died from opioid, fentanyl, and other drug overdoses in 2022.
There are a number of reasons why chiropractic care may be effective in reducing opioid use. First, chiropractic care can help to improve the function of the spine, which can reduce pain and the need for opioids. Second, chiropractic care can help to reduce inflammation, which is another factor that can contribute to pain. Third, chiropractic care can help to improve the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
If you are taking opioids for chronic low back pain, you may want to talk to your doctor about whether chiropractic care is right for you. Chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to reduce pain and improve function, and it may help you to reduce your reliance on opioids.
How Can Chiropractors Help with the Opioid Epidemic?
Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive healthcare approach that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine. Chiropractors use a hands-on approach to manipulate the spine and other joints, aiming to restore proper alignment, alleviate pain, and improve overall function.
One of the primary treatments performed by chiropractors is spinal adjustment or manipulation. This technique involves applying controlled, sudden force to specific vertebrae, with the goal of correcting misalignments, known as subluxations. By realigning the spine, chiropractors aim to relieve pressure on nerves, reduce inflammation, and improve overall joint mobility.
In addition to spinal adjustments, chiropractors may utilize various other treatment modalities. These may include soft tissue therapies, such as massage or trigger point therapy, to address muscle tension and promote relaxation. They may also recommend therapeutic exercises, stretches, and rehabilitation techniques to improve strength, flexibility, and posture.
Chiropractors often emphasize the importance of lifestyle modifications, including ergonomics, nutrition, and exercise, to support overall musculoskeletal health. They may provide guidance on proper posture, workplace ergonomics, and strategies for preventing future injuries.
While chiropractic treatment is commonly associated with back and neck pain, chiropractors can also address a wide range of conditions, including headaches, joint pain, sports injuries, and even certain systemic disorders.