The Chronic Pain Crisis is the Opioid Crisis

Bottom Line:

What began as a chronic pain epidemic has evolved into our current opioid crisis. For decades, opioids were marketed as a “safer” alternative to treat chronic pain. However, as the number of people with chronic pain began to rise, so did the number of people addicted and dying from prescription opioids.

Why it Matters:

To address our opioid crisis, we will first need to find non-pharmacological solutions to our chronic pain epidemic. Over the past few years, major healthcare agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recognized that non-pharmacological approaches should be the first line of care for the management of chronic pain.

New studies have indicated that there is a reason to be hopeful. Non-drug care options, such as chiropractic, are very effective at helping people reduce pain. Even people with severe chronic pain have been shown to benefit from the care that chiropractors can provide.

  • Chronic low back pain will affect up to 20% of people over 18 years old.
  • Cooperation between your Medical Doctor and Chiropractor can help provide the best results.
  • Chiropractic care has been shown to provide better outcomes than care in a pain clinic.

Next Steps:

This change to a primarily non-pharmacological based approach to care for chronic pain is unprecedented in healthcare. Yes, there will always be certain circumstances where powerful medications may need to be used, but most pain patients don’t fall into this category.

We can’t undo the damage that has been done, but we can learn from the past and work together to overcome chronic pain. The research continues to show that chiropractic care is both safe and effective for treating your pain without any of the dangerous side effects associated with opioid medications.

Science Source(s):

Prevalence of chronic low back pain: a systematic review. Rev Saude Publica. 2015 A Comparison Between Chiropractic Management and Pain Clinic Management for Chronic Low-Back Pain in a National Health Service Outpatient Clinic. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Volume 14, Number 5, 2008