The opioid epidemic and the human toll exacted by it are no secret. But it’s not just a problem in the USA. Opioids are highly addictive and everywhere you find them, you find lives destroyed by addiction to this pharmaceutical, sometimes leading to death.
And opioids are on the streets of our towns and cities, creating an overdose crisis which can’t be ignored. We’re all aware of these terrible realities.
Drug therapy may seem like an easy way out where you’re in pain, but the truth is it can lead to addiction. Because of this, I recommend that people turn to non-invasive supports like chiropractic and physical therapy before they even think about resorting to opioids.
Recently, a sample of 6,300 Americans was surveyed in the Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Study. Of the sample, almost 80% revealed that they chose therapies like chiropractic and physical therapy over opioids, even though 2/3rds of them suffered from long-term neck or back pain.
Of the sample, over half had suffered with pain for a period of no less than 5 years.
Nevertheless, 25% of Americans turned to opioids, instead of non-invasive, safe therapies like physical therapy and chiropractic to obtain pain relief.
The group surveyed also revealed that they perceived chiropractic and physical therapy to be the 2 safest alternatives to drug therapy. Bringing up the rear were surgery and self-care.
Opioids are scary
There’s no question that news of the human cost of opioid addiction has led to a sobering effect on people who live with pain. When it’s clear that these drugs lead to addiction and all too often, death, more and more pain patients have resolved to avoid them.
Almost 45% of Americans consider opioids a “crisis”, with 91 Americans perishing at the hands of opioids every day. People are waking up to the reality that this class of drugs is a threat to human health, if not carefully managed. And because deaths from opioid drugs are under-reported, that figure may not reveal the full scope of the devastation.
The good news is that chiropractors and physical therapists are neuromuscular specialists, trained to pinpoint the underlying causes of pain and to control and eliminate it. That’s why it’s so important that people attempt these therapeutic responses before resorting to the use of opioids.
Opioids are not just addictive, using them can mask pain, leading people to believe their bodies aren’t still in need of therapeutic attention. This tendency can exacerbate existing physical problems.
At Back & Body Medical, my work as a chiropractor is supported by physical therapy, acupuncture and sports medicine. We practice as a multi-disciplinarian team, an approach which has won our Manhattan facility multiple awards.
So, why chiropractic and physical therapy before opioids? Because pain demands the support of pain relief specialists like the integrated care clinicians at Back & Body NJ. Opioids are not the answer.