Chiropractic provides drug-free alternative to traditional medicine
Posted Online: June 10, 2010, 10:36 am
Press release submitted by Traci Nelson, D.C.
New Study Raises Red Flags Concerning Increase in Opioid Prescriptions and Overdoses
BETTENDORF — If you are taking a prescription painkiller long- term for pain, you are not alone—but should be concerned and seek out drug-free relief.
About 3 percent of the U.S. population, or nearly 8 million Americans, are being prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, morphine and Vicodin for back pain, headaches and other chronic pain conditions, according to a government-funded study published in a January 2010 medical journal, Annals of Internal Medicine. And even more alarming, deaths from prescribed opioids more than tripled in the U.S. from 1999 to 2006.
“The threat to patient safety is too great to allow current pain management and opioid prescribing practices to remain as they are,” White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Deputy Director A. Thomas McLellan, PhD, writes in an editorial published along with the study in the journal.
Patients can turn to chiropractic for a drug-free alternative to medicines. A doctor of chiropractic can develop a treatment plan that may combine more than one type of treatment, such as spinal manipulation, mobilization or massage, as well as procedures such as electric stimulation, rehabilitative exercises, acupuncture, advice on nutrition, and suggestions for posture modification—instead of medications and surgery.
“Chiropractic actually treats the cause of the pain rather than the sypmtoms,” says Dr. Nelson. “Painkillers are a temporary fix that masks the problem, where chiropractors diagnose the cause of the pain and develop a treatment plan to solve the problem.”
Two studies highlight the effectiveness of chiropractic for two common, chronic pain conditions: back pain and headaches.
A 2003 study published in the medical journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than does a variety of medications. And a report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, N.C., found that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headaches than a commonly prescribed medication.
“With so much in the news about painkiller addictions and accidental overdoses, we’ve seen an increase in patients who are concerned and want drug-free pain relief,” continues Dr. Nelson. “Chiropractic is very effective in treating many types of chronic pain, but also effective in treating other ailments such as ear infections, asthma, colds and flu, reducing the need for antibiotics.”
Chiropractors can provide patients with ways to boost their immune systems and guard against staph and other bacterial infections, in lieu of taking antibiotics—reducing the risk of antibiotic resistance.
“Beyond finding noninvasive and drug-free relief for traditional back and neck pain, many of our patients have recovered from recurrent ear infections and other bacterial infections through chiropractic care,” says Dr. Nelson. “Even ADHD patients have seen promising results with non-drug treatments that focus on postural muscles, nutrition and lifestyle changes that affect brain activity. With today’s chiropractic treatment plans, patients really do have an alternative to taking antibiotics for infections and medications for pain.”