An Alternative to Opioids for Treating Chronic Pain: The Benefits of Chiropractic Therapy
Chronic pain can have a range of causes, from an injury or illness to aging, but there may also be no clear cause. This ambiguity in causes can make chronic pain very hard to treat and can have negative impacts on the patient’s lifestyle. A study by the National Institutes of Health found one in ten Americans experienced pain every day for three months. Lower back pain is the most common form of frequent or chronic pain, affecting more than 26 million Americans between the ages of 20-64.
A Growing Epidemic
One can hardly pick up a newspaper these days without reading another story about the alarming rise in addiction to prescription pain killers, particularly opioids. Those stories are backed up by figures from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. According to their recent analysis, more than 30 million people worldwide are addicted to opioids, including some 2 million in the United States alone.
Addiction, however, is not the only problem with the use of these powerful pain killers. Many who take these drugs, although they don't experience addiction, suffer other problems, ranging from hormonal imbalances to digestive problems, infertility, depressed immune response, liver toxicity, gastrointestinal bleeding and depression.
Increasingly, recognizing not only the dangers of addiction (among others) associated with these medications, an increasing number of Americans are seeking alternative approaches to chronic pain relief. Among the most effective is chiropractic therapy.
The Impact of Chiropractic Treatment on Pain Management
A host of recent studies have established definitively the positive impact of chiropractic care on the alleviation of pain. Those benefits extend to a wide variety of conditions, from shoulder pain to arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, back pain headaches and fibromyalgia. Essentially, the chiropractor's manipulation of the spine and extremities promotes the body's ability to heal itself, without the introduction of potentially dangerous medications, by combatting oxidative stress and promoting the repair of DNA at the cellular level.
Of these several studies, one from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society found chiropractic treatment so effective that they recommended physicians routinely recommend spinal manipulation for pain management. That study, and the several others which have reached similar conclusions, has prompted researchers to continue studying the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for a wide range of conditions in which chronic pain is a principal symptom.
Although the alleviation of pain is a principal reason people increasingly seek out the services of competent chiropractors, it isn't the only one. In addition to pain relief, chiropractic treatment provides additional benefits, including stress relief, improved posture, overall mood enhancement and better sleep.
The rash of addictions and overdoses related to prescription painkillers has induced an increasing number of people to find and utilize alternative therapies. Chiropractic therapy is chief among those which are relieving pain, improving mood, reducing stress and enhancing physical wellbeing without the use of these medications. If you are one of the millions of Americans suffering from chronic pain, you owe it to yourself to find a skilled chiropractor in your area today.