Chiropractic Care Significantly Lowers Tramadol Prescriptions For Sciatica, Study Reveals

A new study by University Hospitals Connor Whole Health found that adults who initially received chiropractic spinal manipulation for newly diagnosed sciatica (radicular low back pain) were significantly less likely to be prescribed the opioid tramadol over the following year compared to those receiving usual medical care. Tramadol, a synthetic opioid, has become increasingly prescribed for low back pain in the US over the past decade but carries risks of persistent use and adverse events. At AmeriWell Clinics, we advocate for alternative methods of pain management. This study, noting how treatment from a skilled Silver Spring, MD, chiropractor can help, has us excited for the possibilities.

Lead author Robert Trager, DC, noted that while previous studies highlighted a reduced likelihood of opioid prescriptions among chiropractic care recipients, this study is the first to specifically focus on tramadol. Published in BMJ Open, the retrospective cohort study analyzed data from over 2,300 patient records across various US academic health centers, involving adults aged 18-50 newly diagnosed with sciatica. Sciatica involves radiating pain, numbness, or weakness in the leg due to a compressed nerve root.

The study ensured that the chiropractic and non-chiropractic cohorts were comparable in age, sex, and other factors. Results showed that only 1.3% of chiropractic patients received a tramadol prescription during a one-year follow-up, compared to 4.0% of those receiving usual medical care. This suggests that chiropractic care may be a valuable non-pharmacological alternative for pain management, especially as the US continues to address the opioid crisis.

Dr. Françoise Adan, Chief Whole Health and Well-being Officer at UH Connor Whole Health, emphasized the study’s reinforcement of evidence-based, non-drug pain management options. Co-author Dr. Roshini Srinivasan from Duke University Hospital expressed that the findings are encouraging for clinicians seeking safe, effective treatments for complex conditions like chronic low back pain and sciatica.

Chiropractic Treatment As An Alternative To Prescription Medication

Managing chronic pain doesn’t have to mean relying on prescription medications. Many chiropractor patients prefer holistic pain management and sciatica treatment, focusing on manual spinal adjustments and other non-invasive techniques.

One of the key benefits of chiropractic care is its potential to reduce reliance on prescription medications, including opioids like tramadol. Recent studies have highlighted that patients receiving chiropractic treatment for sciatica experienced significant pain relief, often without the need for medication. This is particularly important given the rising concerns about opioid addiction and the side effects associated with long-term medication use.

Chiropractors aim to address the root causes of pain rather than merely masking symptoms. By realigning the spine and improving joint function, chiropractic adjustments can alleviate nerve compression and reduce inflammation, leading to natural pain relief. Additionally, chiropractors often incorporate complementary therapies such as exercise, nutrition advice, and lifestyle modifications to enhance overall well-being.

If you prefer a drug-free approach to pain management, quality chiropractic care may be a viable option. You may effectively manage pain without the side effects of prescription medication. And, if you are concerned with the risk of addiction, medication-free therapy can ease your worries.

How Can A Silver Spring Chiropractor Help You?

Are you struggling with chronic pain from sciatica or another cause? Do you want to explore alternative methods of treatment? Contact AmeriWell Clinics today for a  personalized assessment and treatment plan. We take most insurance.