Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

February 3, 2018

The Opioid Crisis: Who Is/Is Not Guided By The Guidelines?

As far back as 1994, spinal manipulation has been a leading approach for managing low back pain in national care guidelines, and chiropractic care was the only approach that was also noted to improve function. (AHCPR Clinical Guideline #14: Acute Low Back Pain for Adults)

The 2017 American College of Physicians guidelines continued to point to spinal manipulation as a preferred initial non-drug therapy selection for chronic low back pain, along with other chiropractic services such as exercise, mindfulness, and low-laser therapy. (Annual of Internal Medicine; February 24, 2017)

So what percent of medical providers recommend spinal manipulation? Two. (OPTUM Insurance Study 2012 (retrospective review of 16,000,000 musculoskeletal cases)

“259 MILLION opioid painkiller prescriptions were written in 2012 – enough for one bottle for every adult in the U.S. 2016 data suggests that opioid problem is WORSENING, not improving.” (Centers for Disease Control; https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/opioid-prescribing)

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January 25, 2018

Who gets the Opioid Prescriptions?

Well, first, “To understand just how bad the opioid epidemic has gotten, consider these statistics: Drug overdoses in 2015 were linked to more deaths than car crashes or guns, and in fact killed more people than car crashes and gun homicides combined.”

Pain complaints are a leading reason for medical visits. The most common pain complaints are musculoskeletal, and back pain, is the most common of these. (Roafi, et al, VITAL HEALTH STAT 2016)

More than half of “regular” prescription opioid users have back pain. (Sullivan, et al: PAIN, 2005)

As far back as 1994, spinal manipulation has been a leading approach for chronic low back pain in national guidelines, and chiropractic care was the only approach that was also not to improve function. (AHCPR Clinical Guideline #14: Acute Low Back Pain for Adults)

“Chiropractors are the only physician-level health care providers that have always specialized in non-opioid, non-pharmacological musculoskeletal pain management. Chiropractors are also the leading health care providers specializing in conservative, highly effective, low-risk approaches such as spinal manipulation that have been demonstrated to be high value both for pain management and functional improvement. The chiropractic profession has always been centered on naturally effective pain management and functional improvement in patient care, especially in respect to back, neck and musculoskeletal pain.” (Pain Killers: The Opioid Crisis; A prescription-induced public health care catastrophe, Austin McMillin, DC, 2017)

What if treatment protocols, in Hospital and medical clinics, were aligned with the authoritative management guidelines? National guidelines recommendation a shift away from prescription painkillers and a move toward non-pharmacological alternative, such as chiropractic, as the first option for pain relief (at the CDC, the National Safety Council, and the Food and Drug Administration).

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