Chiro-Practical Knowledge

The Chronic Pain Crisis is the Opioid Crisis

Bottom Line:
What began as a chronic pain epidemic has evolved into our current opioid crisis. For decades, opioids
were marketed as a “safer” alternative to treat chronic pain. However, as the number of people with
chronic pain began to rise, so did the number of people addicted and dying from prescription opioids.

Why it Matters:
To address our opioid crisis, we will first need to find non-pharmacological solutions to our chronic pain
epidemic. Over the past few years, major healthcare agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recognized that non-pharmacological approaches
should be the first line of care for the management of chronic pain.
New studies have indicated that there is a reason to be hopeful. Non-drug care options, such as
chiropractic, are very effective at helping people reduce pain. Even people with severe chronic pain have
been shown to benefit from the care that chiropractors can provide.

  • Chronic low back pain will affect up to 20% of people over 18 years old.
  • Cooperation between your Medical Doctor and Chiropractor can help provide the best results.
  • Chiropractic care has been shown to provide better outcomes than care in a pain clinic.

Next Steps:
This change to a primarily non-pharmacological based approach to care for chronic pain is
unprecedented in healthcare. Yes, there will always be certain circumstances where powerful
medications may need to be used, but most pain patients don’t fall into this category.
We can’t undo the damage that has been done, but we can learn from the past and work together to
overcome chronic pain. The research continues to show that chiropractic care is both safe and effective
for treating your pain without any of the dangerous side effects associated with opioid medications.

Science Source(s):
Prevalence of chronic low back pain: a systematic review. Rev Saude Publica. 2015
A Comparison Between Chiropractic Management and Pain Clinic Management for Chronic Low-Back
Pain in a National Health Service Outpatient Clinic. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary
Medicine. Volume 14, Number 5, 2008