In the U.S., painkiller addiction is so rampant that 91 Americans die every day from an overdose of prescription opioids or heroin. Prescription opioids such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and methadone are widely prescribed for pain relief.
Initially, they were intended to treat severe pain following surgery or injury or pain due to illnesses such as cancer. However, they’re now increasingly prescribed for many types of pain, including chronic back pain or pain from osteoarthritis. Opioid prescriptions nearly quadrupled in the U.S. between 1999 and 2013, despite reported pain levels remaining stagnant.
Meanwhile, the CDC reports, “Deaths from prescription opioids — drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone — have more than quadrupled since 1999,” rising right along with the numbers of prescriptions.
Ironically, opioids can even lead to an increased sensitivity to pain, causing patients to reach for more and more of the drugs. Addiction and overdose, which can be fatal, are all-too-common next steps. In fact, up to 1 out of 4 Americans receiving long-term opioid prescriptions struggle with addiction, according to the CDC.3
FDA Calls on Doctors to Rethink How They Treat Pain
In 2016, the CDC released updated guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Notably, they listed non-opioid therapy as the preferred treatment for chronic pain. Released in May 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) similarly proposed changes in how doctors treat pain. Specifically, the FDA urged them to get information about non-drug options including cognitive behavioral therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic care and acupuncture.
It’s about time. According to a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), patients with neck pain who used a chiropractor and/or exercise were more than twice as likely to be pain-free in 12 weeks compared to those who took medication.
Chiropractic Care Offers Benefits Beyond Pain Relief
One of the major benefits of choosing chiropractic over a drug solution is that the former can help relieve your pain while offering you whole-body benefits. Just like regular dental care will prolong the useful life of your teeth, getting regular chiropractic treatments can do the same for your spine. Further, contrary to popular belief, chiropractic can be used to optimize wellness, not just treat pain.
Some chiropractors focus primarily on pain and injuries and do not have the full skill set required to address issues like allergies or disease. It is important to make sure the chiropractor you choose has the appropriate philosophy and is skilled at providing pain relief as well.
Tips for Choosing a Wellness Chiropractor
If your pain is mild or moderate, it makes far more sense to try noninvasive, non-drug and nonsurgical options for pain relief first. Along those lines, if you’re considering chiropractic care, especially a wellness chiropractor who can help you relieve pain while looking out for your holistic health, you’ll want to be sure you’re choosing a skilled provider.
About Discover Health & Wellness – Aurora
Dr. Aaron Hancock of Discover Health & Wellness Aurora is located just off South Parker Road and offers patients a natural and holistic approach to health improvement and pain reduction. Services at Discover Health & Wellness include chiropractic care, spinal correction, corrective exercises, lifestyle advice, nutritional counseling, massage therapy, allergy treatment and spinal and postural screenings.
Visit http://discoverhealthandwellness.com/ for more information on hours, services and location.
Discover Health & Wellness, Aurora
5001 S Parker Road , #211
Aurora CO 80015