Chiropractic for Natural Pain Treatment – A Safe Alternative to Opioid Use

If you’re experiencing back, neck or shoulder pain, chances are your first instinct is to reach for some pain medication.

And while the occasional ibuprofen or Tylenol won’t usually hurt you, many people are inclined to try something stronger, especially if they have pain that over-the-counter drugs don’t seem to help.

This is why doctors often prescribe opioid analgesics to those suffering from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain, resulting in millions of prescriptions for these powerful drugs every year.

However, there are many downsides to using prescription opioids for pain – opioid medications can be very addictive and can also carry the risk of serious side effects.

These addictive medications being prescribed so freely has resulted in an opioid epidemic across the nation.

Downside of Taking Opioids for Pain

The Dark Side of Taking Opioids for Pain

You’ve probably seen the news about the opioid crisis – opioid addiction is at record levels in the US, ensnaring even people who’ve never had trouble with substance abuse in the past.

The story is often frighteningly familiar, too: people were prescribed these drugs to alleviate temporary or chronic pain, then found themselves addicted before they knew it.

In addition to the risks of addiction, opioid medications can also have potentially dangerous interactions with other prescription drugs you may be taking.

They can also cause unpleasant or dangerous side effects like constipation, dizziness, sedation, nausea, vomiting, and respiratory depression.

People often find they need more of them to get the same pain relief over time, too, resulting in higher doses, chronic dependency and an increased risk of opioid overdose.

And on top of all that, some studies have shown that opioid medications may not work any better than OTC pain relievers for issues like chronic pain and pain from arthritis.

In short, there’s a whole lot not to like about these very strong, potentially very dangerous and addictive drugs.

Increasingly, many are looking for safer, non-drug pain relief alternatives with fewer risks of adverse effects.

Luckily, there are many natural pain relief options that can help free you from severe pain and improve your quality of life.

So, what should you do if you find yourself suffering from acute or chronic neck or back pain?

Chiropractic Care Can Provide Natural Relief from Pain

Chiropractic Care Can Provide Natural Relief from Pain

The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to alleviate back, neck, and shoulder pain without the use of opioid medication.

And seeing an experienced chiropractor is often the first step to getting lasting relief that actually works.

Studies show that chiropractic care can provide effective pain relief and lasting improvements in back pain, neck pain, and pain from musculoskeletal issues.

In fact, research has shown that those who received chiropractic care were as much as 64% less likely to need an opioid prescription.

That’s fantastic news, considering the known dangers of taking opioids for pain in the first place.

What Does Chiropractic Care for Pain Involve?

Most people know that chiropractors use spinal adjustment as a key therapy in the management of pain.

But the chiropractor’s natural approach to effective pain relief and treatment involves so much more.

Chiropractic is a holistic therapy focused on the proper alignment and function of the musculoskeletal system.

One major goal of chiropractic therapy is to alleviate acute pain. Another equally important goal of chiropractic practice is to fix underlying issues that can cause – or worsen – chronic pain conditions.

That means that chiropractic can be a good solution for those experiencing temporary bouts of pain and those with long-term pain issues.

Chiropractic treatment plans for pain may include some or all of the following:

  • Spinal manipulation/chiropractic adjustments
  • Massage therapy
  • Muscle and fascial activation techniques
  • Stretching and exercise, including yoga and Pilates
  • Hot and cold therapy
  • Electrical stimulation
  • Posture and ergonomic training to correct biomechanical issues
  • Diet and exercise regimens
  • Braces, immobilizers or wraps for added support

Chiropractic therapies have been shown to be very effective for pain, and the American College of Physicians now recommends them as a first line, evidence-based clinical practice to help treat acute or subacute back pain without narcotics.

Many recent studies have also shown the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment in relieving chronic pain and improving mobility without the use of drugs.

A JAMA review showed statistically significant improvements in pain and function from chiropractic treatment, and other recent research has shown chiropractic therapy can reduce or eliminate the need to use opioids for pain altogether.

This non-pharmacologic approach to pain relief is fast becoming the recommended treatment for a variety of types of musculoskeletal pain.

How Can a Chiropractor Help Alleviate Back and Neck Pain

How Can a Chiropractor Help Alleviate Back and Neck Pain?

Chiropractic treatments can alleviate pain due to both acute and chronic causes.

Neck and back pain can arise from a variety of issues, including:

  • Injury or trauma
  • Poor spinal alignment
  • Biomechanical issues, including problems with gait
  • Overuse or improper use of muscles
  • Degeneration of vertebrae
  • Poor muscle tone or muscle tension or spasms
  • Obesity, which places undue weight on the spine, muscles, and joints.

Help for Acute Pain

For acute pain causes like injury or trauma, common chiropractic therapies like massage, hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation, immobilization and physical therapy can reduce or even eliminate pain and discomfort.

Chiropractic treatment can also facilitate healing and help ensure you don’t wind up with chronic pain from an improperly healed injury.

Chronic Pain Relief

Those suffering from chronic pain can also find lasting relief through chiropractic care.

An experienced chiropractor can work with you to correct underlying issues like improper skeletal alignment, improper form during activities like walking or exercise, and overuse or underuse of certain muscle groups, all common causes of chronic pain.

Moreover, because chiropractors specialize in musculoskeletal function, they can often home in on and correct the root causes of neck and back pain, including those that have been resistant to other interventions.

Seeing a chiropractor regularly can help you break the cycle of flawed biomechanics and repeat injuries so you can get back to feeling and performing your best.

How is Chiropractic Better Than Opioids for Pain?

No Risk of Addiction

Opioids carry a high risk of triggering a cycle of prescription abuse, so some people prefer to avoid them altogether, if possible.

This avoidance can be especially important for those with a history of substance use disorder, but many without a history of addiction are also understandably wary about the risks.

Chiropractic can provide effective, natural pain relief that carries no risk of prescription pain medication dependency or abuse.

Can Treat Underlying Causes of Pain

While not all causes of pain can be eliminated permanently through chiropractic, many can, leaving you pain-free and without the need for further medication or treatment.

Contrast this with prescription opioid pain medication, which only works to temporarily numb the pain, not root out the cause for true and lasting relief.

More Effective Than Opioids for Many Types of Pain

 Numerous studies have shown that opioids are not very effective for many types of pain, often coming in behind over the counter pain relievers like NSAIDs for efficacy in randomized controlled studies.

One study even showed that for back and neck pain specifically, opioids performed no better than a placebo, surprising the researchers and casting doubt on whether these addictive drugs should ever be prescribed in such cases.

While opioids can have an important role to play in treating some kinds of pain, they may not be the best choice for those suffering from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain.

More Effective Than Opioids for Many Types of Pain

No Side Effects

Opioids can cause a variety of unpleasant side effects, including:

  • Sleepiness or mental confusion
  • Constipation
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dry mouth
  • Itching
  • Sweating
  • Hallucinations or nightmares
  • Reduced libido
  • Dependence
  • Opioid Use Disorder

Unlike opioid pain meds, most chiropractic therapies carry little to no risk of side effects beyond minor issues like residual soreness after a therapy or massage session.

Given the risks associated with opioid use for pain – including possible overdose and death – many informed patients and healthcare professionals are choosing to forgo them altogether.

Want to Find Out More About Chiropractic for Natural Back and Neck Pain Relief?

We’d love to help.

Whether you have acute pain or a chronic pain issue, Rush Chiropractic offers a variety of therapies to bring you true and lasting relief without the need for opioid medications.

Call us today at 954-432-5006 to schedule your personalized consultation.

We’ll help you take the next step on the road to pain relief and a whole new you!

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