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Denver Chiropractor May Help Those Struggling With Opioid Related Issues

05 Oct Denver Chiropractor May Help Those Struggling With Opioid Related Issues

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, it is estimated that on average, 130 people die per day in the United States due to opioid overdose. Officially declared a public health emergency by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2017, the opioid epidemic has taken the lives of thousands and costs the U.S. government nearly $78.5 billion per year. 

One key strategy to combat the crisis is the government’s efforts to advance better practices for pain management, which often includes the incorporation of more chiropractic care treatments. Whilst research is still ongoing, a new study suggests that patients utilizing chiropractic care from a denver chiropractor are less likely to receive an opioid prescription, which in the long run can help to curb overall opioid addiction for the U.S. population. 

About the study

The study was led by Kelsey L. Corcoran, DC, of the Yale School of Medicine and the goal of the study was to determine if there was an “overall association between the use of a chiropractor and the receipt of opioids”. To study this, the research team conducted a meta analysis and systematic review of existing literature on the matter to see if there were any patterns or associations already present in the data. 

In the final report, the study revealed: “the proportion of patients receiving an opioid prescription was lower for chiropractic users compared with nonusers” – confirming the researchers’ initial assumptions that chiropractic care might be negatively correlated with opioid use.  

Additionally, the study revealed that, “chiropractic users were also less likely to receive an opioid prescription”. 

Sponsored in partnership by the Department of Veteran Affairs, Health Services Research and development, and the NCMIC Foundation, the study is a step forward towards validation of a more holistic approach for chronic pain management. 

A denver chiropractor: The first step towards pain relief 

Though the study reasserted the benefits of chiropractic care and its ability to reduce the risk of opioid addiction, it does not suggest that chiropractic therapy is the only solution. More comprehensive treatments involving a combination of physical therapy, messaging techniques, and prescription pain medication should also be incorporated into a treatment plan depending on the patient.

Ann E. Hansen, MD of the University of Washington/Boise VA Medical Center reported to MedScape that although alternative treatments such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and chiropractic care are an adequate first-line pain management technique for back and neck pain, she asserted that “there is little scientific data to support the specific applications of these modalities.” 

The takeaway here is that rather than jumping straight to prescription pain relievers, chiropractic care should be recommended as a valid first option. Only after this option is exhausted should prescription pain relievers be prescribed by a doctor.  

What does this mean for the future of chronic pain relief? It means that further research is needed to determine optimum treatment plans for patients, with an aim to incorporate a holistic approach to pain relief. In the meantime, Denver chiropractors can help those suffering with chronic pain, providing chiropractic care as a first step towards pain relief without the threat of opioid addiction.