As new research becomes known displaying the risks that come along with the mass prescription of opioids, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is imploring change for healthcare providers who have not exhausted other forms of pain management before prescribing painkillers.

One report released by the Journal of American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (JAAOS), shows that prescriptions of opioids bring about negative consequences such as medication tolerance and addiction for simply work-related injuries or less harmful conditions.

According to ACA media spokesperson Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, “Beyond the risk of overuse and addiction, prescription drugs that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is less severe than it is, or that is has in fact healed.” He goes on to say that, this is a misunderstanding, which can further aggravate the condition.

It’s also important to point out that over 80 percent of the world’s opioids are taken by individuals in the United States, and orthopedic surgeons are responsible for over a third of these prescriptions. Although treating pain is important, research shows that implementing other strategies for pain management further improves the healing process.

Dr. Hayden points out that one powerful strategy that surgeons could use is more conservative forms of care before prescribing opioids for treatment. A more conservative health care program would place an emphasize on non-addictive, less-risky treatment options. Instead of going straight to addictive medications or surgery, a doctor could instead suggest spinal manipulation with exercise and stretching routines. This minimizes back pain and risk associated with surgery.

Hayden isn’t alone in his suggestions. Earlier this year, the Joint Commission revised its pain management standards to incorporate the use of acupuncture and chiropractic care. However, as the standards change, doctors may incorporate both medications and spinal manipulation for their patients.

If you’re looking to keep your pain in check, we have the treatment for you at Vital Health Chiropractic. Conveniently located in Moon Township, Pennsylvania we pride ourselves on paying special attention to our patients and providing them with the highest quality in chiropractic care. Contact us today or stop by our office for a free consultation.