I bet you’ve heard of the opioid epidemic, but what is it why did it begin and how do we do something about it. We’re going to talk about it in our latest video.
About 30 years ago, there was a fundamental shift in medicine regarding how pain was understood and treated. The number of people with chronic pain seemed to be rising, and it was thought that the options to address pain weren’t adequate.
As doctors paid more attention to assessing pain, they also paid more attention to treating pain. Opioid medications began to be prescribed more frequently for chronic low back or neck pain. These are medications like Vicodin, OxyContin, codeine, methodone.
Up until then, opioids were only prescribed for severe pain after surgery or advanced stage cancer. But in the early nineties, that all changed. New opioid formulas were promoted as less addictive, and physicians were encouraged to prescribe these drugs far more liberally than before. Prescribing these drugs very quickly led to a variety of problems.
First, patients rapidly adapted to the drugs, requiring larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect. Second, they weren’t very effective at addressing chronic pain. They provided short term relief but seemed to become less useful as time went on. And finally, they provided a euphoric feeling that quickly led to addiction.
People were getting addicted to these pain killers, doctors realized that we had a problem and stopped prescribing them to people were addicted, so they they turned to other things, heroine was more powerful than that or fentanyl that again is more powerful than that. Until one day, it’s too much and they die.
Why am I talking about this? Starting in the nineties, doctors were encouraged to prescribe these medications for chronic pain. About 60% of opioid users report having back pain, and in the US alone we have average over 130 deaths every day due to opioids. 30 years later, we’re consumed with the opioid crisis. Over 130 people die each day, and over 40% of those deaths are from people prescribed opioids.
If there’s a silver lining is that we now realize the answers in treatment to chronic pain are not found in a bottle. Many leading health care organizations are now recommending non-pharmacological approaches to treating pain, including chiropractic. Why?
Let’s go back to the opioid problem. With those medications, they can provide pain relief, but it’s temporary and you need more and more as we go in order to get the relief. Why chiropractic? Because even with chronic pain (Something you might have to deal with forever), over time you need less and less chiropractic care in order to get the benefits of it. So what would you choose? Something you need more and more of over time, or something that you can still get the benefits of but need less and less over time. Chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive and effective for Chronic pain. IF you’d like to find out how chiropractic can help you, contact our office at 520-572-2596 and we’ll be happy to help you.