The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has published a study that formalizes the efficacy of chiropractic care in reducing opioid usage among adults with low back pain. The study, which included over 13,000 adults, found that patients receiving chiropractic care for low back pain (LBP) filled opioid analgesic prescriptions 55 percent less often than those not receiving chiropractic care. Overall, the research indicated chiropractic pain management practices can reduce or eliminate the need for opioid pain relievers, resulting in fewer risks and reduced patient costs. Key findings included:
- Only 19 percent of patients under chiropractic care filled prescriptions for opioids in contrast to the subjects not under chiropractic care, of which 35 percent filled opioid prescriptions.
- When considering all types of prescriptions, the group under chiropractic care filled significantly fewer prescriptions than the non-chiropractic care group.
With over 2 million people in the U.S. suffering from opioid addiction and 15% of the population fearing addiction to opioids, finding safe and cost-effective methods of managing pain is critical. Chiropractic care, along with other drug-free therapies, has been recommended by the Institute of Medicine to treat patients presenting with chronic pain. Guidelines from the American College of Physicians are even more explicit on recommendations for treating back pain, clarifying non-pharmacologic treatment as the primary choice. Opioids are considered as a last resort only, or in cases where patients’ complicating factors make other options incompatible. If you’re suffering from back pain, contact a chiropractic near you to help manage your pain safely, effectively, and without drugs.