Practically everyone is aware that there is an opioid pain medication epidemic in the United States. Many people know firsthand a relative, friend or neighbor who has been affected by this problem. This article will discuss an alternative to opioid drugs for pain management of lower back pain through chiropractic care. It will also update the reader on current research with management of pain of the lower back through conservative measures.
Lower back pain affects 80% of Americans by the age of 40. In my chiropractic practice I find it is very rare for people not to have had one or more episodes of significant pain in the back in their lifetimes. Many people have episodes of back pain and some, unfortunately suffer from back pain constantly.
Pain of the lower back is ubiquitous. Because of its prevalence it affects most people with their everyday activities of working, caring for their family, taking care of their house and yard, and being able to exercise and enjoy themselves recreationally.
In an effort to help people with their back discomfort it became common for medical practitioners to give opioid pain medications. We all know that however well-meaning this was it unfortunate consequences. Opioids are highly addictive and have led to overdoses, deaths, dependencies and have wrecked social havoc.
Since opioid pharmaceuticals are not the answer for back pain sufferers, what is? Fortunately, chiropractic care which has been available in the United States for over hundred 25 years shows great promise.
Chiropractors are doctors specializing in care of the human spine. A Doctor of Chiropractic is specially trained in diagnosing the cause of lower back pain and has specific training to correct the cause of discomfort of the back. Chiropractors utilize treatment called manipulation of the spine to correct misaligned or improperly moving spinal vertebrae to correct the cause of the pain.
The Cleveland Clinic highlights spinal manipulation as a first-line treatment for lower back pain.
Consumer Reports surveyed 3500 people with lower back pain and 90% of people tried spinal manipulation found it helpful.
The Journal of the American Medical Association published a review of systematic research that chiropractic manipulation for back pain is effective and is of low risk.
The attorneys general of 37 states wrote a letter to the major health insurance companies urging alternative therapies like chiropractic care to be utilized instead of opioid medications. They asked the insurance companies to consider making chiropractic care available at a lower cost to patients to combat chronic pain.
With research and data like this it would be much easier, quicker and have a reduced social cost if alternative care such as chiropractic manipulation was used for acute and chronic pain conditions such as lower back pain.