Chiropractic Care May Just Be the Answer to the Opioid Epidemic, Here's Why...


Addiction to opioid pain killers has consistently been one of the top concerns in both medical circles and government research for the past quarter century. Recent studies revealed that 99% of medical doctors have prescribed opioids; and many doctors are prescribing them for much longer than the CDC's recommended 3 days. We think chiropractic care is part of the answer to the opioid epidemic, and we aren't the only ones.


In 1991, doctors wrote 76 million prescriptions for opioid drugs, but by 2011 the number had shot up to 219 million (NIDA). The number one reason an MD may prescribe an opioid pain killer is.....BACK PAIN! Clearly we have a problem.

When individuals experience injury or deal with chronic pain, their first stop is often a medical doctor. They want relief, and they usually expect that to come in the form of medication. Physicians are expected to find relief for their patients immediately. This pressure for instant relief leads many doctors to prescribe opioid pain medications despite the known issue of opioid addictions.

Instead of long-term relief, after a course of opioid medications, patients find themselves still in pain and often struggling with addiction. It is a difficult combination to overcome. As a result, patients hop between a variety of doctors hoping for the next prescription; all while their underlying issues go untreated. The saddest part is that many of the conditions they "treat" with opioids can be treated and resolved fully with chiropractic care and physical rehabilitation.

Chiropractic Care is Effective for Pain Management

Chiropractic treatment is a proven tool for pain management. Regular adjustments help to realign the spine and prevent permanent damage to bones and soft tissue. Techniques such as spinal manipulation, therapeutic massage, deep tissue techniques, electronic stimulation, and acupuncture release endorphins that help to block pain receptors in the brain as well as realign the systems of the body.

A 2008 research study showed strong evidence that chiropractic treatment for back pain is just as effective as a combination of traditional medical care and exercise, and moderate evidence that it is just as effective as prescription NSAIDS (anti-inflammatory drugs) combined with exercise. In fact, in 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) updated its guidelines for the treatment of acute and chronic low back pain to recommend first using non-invasive, non-drug treatment therapies (such as chiropractic treatments) before resorting to drug therapy.

Did you catch that? The American College of Physicians recommended chiropractic treatment as a first-line treatment. That is strong praise for the work we do every day.

No Simple Answers, But Great First Steps

The opioid epidemic is not simple, and it doesn't have a simple solution; but we do believe that it is time chiropractic care was a larger part of the conversation. If you or someone you love struggles with chronic pain or addiction to opioid pain killers, we want to help. Schedule an appointment with Sioux Falls Chiropractic by clicking below. Our team of compassionate chiropractors want to be part of the solution.

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