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How Chiropractic Can Help the Opioid Epidemic

Last Updated: April 27th, 2021 at 08:15 pm
Read Time: 3 Minutes

More than 42,000 Americans lost their lives due to an opioid overdose in 2016. The opioid epidemic is affecting this country at every level. Now that the nation has come together to fight this epidemic and find alternative solutions to this massive issue, chiropractic care has come to the surface as a possible and viable solution to this devastating issue.

The Opioid Epidemic in South Florida

1 in 3 US adults suffer from chronic pain, and in most cases, these adults are referred to opioid painkillers to find pain relief. And while Americans only make up roughly 4.5 percent of the world’s population, they consume 80 percent of the world’s opioid painkiller supply.

Every 19-minutes an American dies due to a painkiller overdose.

Between the years 2015 and 2017, the Sunshine State saw an increase in overdose death by 85 percent. Just in 2016, around 4,000 people died due to an opioid overdose in Florida. The epidemic has even led the government to declare a state of emergency, not only for the state, but for the country.

How Can Chiropractic Care Help?

As the country prepares to tackle the opioid epidemic, there has been an increasing recognition of the value of non-drug treatments to approach chronic pain conditions. The American College of Physicians (ACP) updated their guidelines in 2017 to incorporate more non-drug treatments to help with pain before resourcing to drugs and other medications. These conservative treatments include chiropractic care, massage therapy, heat and cold therapies, acupuncture, spinal manipulations, and other therapies as vessels to provide pain relief without using drugs.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, patients with low back pain can experience modest improvements in pain with 6 weeks of spinal manipulation therapy. Evidence suggests that manual therapies such as chiropractic care are more effective treatments for patients with neck pain than drugs.

In fact, one study found that patients with chronic pain that sought help through chiropractic care had a 55 percent lower likelihood of filling a prescription for opioids. They also saved money: Those who sought medical management treatments spent about $6,766 versus those who sought chiropractic care at $1,513.

The reality is that chiropractors are the only physicians that will care for your body and your symptoms without using drugs. Here’s a breakdown of opioid prescriptions per physicians:

  • 28.8% by Primary Care MDs
  • 14.6% by Internists
  • 7.7% by Orthopedic Surgeons
  • 0.0% by chiropractors

How Does Chiropractic Care Work?

Instead of prescribing drugs, chiropractors look at pain management differently. Through manual chiropractic adjustments and other manual techniques, chiropractors are able to reach the source of the pain directly. Depending on your body’s needs and the causes of your pain, chiropractors work on different areas of your musculoskeletal system to make sure it’s in proper alignment. By treating the problem at the source, chiropractors are able to get rid of the symptoms instead of masking them as medications do.

When spine misalignments are left untreated, people can experience severe to chronic pain. While at first the pain can be localized, it can quickly evolve into constant headaches, vision problems, and even aggravate asthma symptoms. Chiropractors can manually align the spine to restore your body’s healthy balance to help ease pain and other symptoms, without the use of medications.

What to Do?

If you or anyone you know is struggling with opioid addiction, call the National Helpline (1-800-662-4357). If you’re struggling with chronic pain, don’t reach for medication. Instead, contact a chiropractic physician from ChiroCare of Florida. With 8 locations conveniently located close to you in South Florida, we are here to help you find pain relief and bring you back to your best health.

About the Author:
Dr. Steven Schwartz
Raised in Coral Springs, Florida, Dr. Steven Schwartz is a major advocate for the South Florida community. CEO of ChiroCare of Florida, Dr. Schwartz has grown the group from one facility to 11. Whether he’s treating patients or volunteering for community service, Dr. Schwartz’s long-term goal is to ensure that each and every patient can experience the ChiroCare of Florida difference.
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