This is an installment of our series about decreasing Opioid dependencies.
Are you taking or considering taking an Opioid for pain? Opioids are not for you but Blue Heron Chiropractic is – and we want to tell you why. Just as a reminder, Vicodin, Oxycontin, Norco, Percodan, Percocet, Oxycodone, and Hydrocodone are all opioids. All of these are potentially dangerous. Lined up right behind these trade names are others like morphine, methadone, Buprenorphine, codeine, and Fentanyl. (Fentanyl, you may recall, recently claimed the lives of several high profile celebrities). Some names you also hear all the time are Naloxone, Lorcet, Lortab, Roxicet, Dilaudid. Don’t forget Exalgo, Dolophine, Hysingla, Zohydro, and Tylox, either. All of these are addictive and these addictions are threatening to end or compromise lives.
A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that opioids were not the solution for chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain. Over 12 months, treatment with opioids compared with non-opioid medications did not result in better pain-related function. Overall, opioids did not demonstrate any advantage over nonopioid medications that could “potentially outweigh their greater risk of harms”. It sounds like the verdict is in.
The FDA originally approved opioids only for acute post-surgical pain. There was no intention to give these to someone for chronic pain. As time went on, a 2011 study showed 61% of patients presenting to primary care physicians were prescribed Opioids. A full 19% of those were then placed on long-term opioid therapy. A 2014 survey showed that in America, 60% of patients who presented to the Emergency Departments with low back pain were prescribed Opioids. People take them because they are available and they aren’t presented other options – such as Chiropractic care. Basically, doing more of the same will not reduce back pain-related disability or its long term consequences. It’s time to offer something different.
Chiropractic care can decrease the reliance on painkiller medications. A great strategy of conservative care is to eliminate the need for them even before they are prescribed. Pain relief resulting from services delivered by doctors of chiropractic may allow patients to use lower or less frequent doses of opioids, leading to reduced risk of adverse effects. A study conducted in 2016 on over 12,000 subjects with lower back pain revealed that patients seen by a chiropractor have a 55% less likelihood of filling an opioid prescription as compared to those not under chiropractic care. The study also showed that average annual per-person charges for opioid prescription fills were 78% lower for recipients of chiropractic services as compared to non-recipients. The final results were published here.
At Blue Heron Chiropractic, we are committed to getting or keeping you clear of opioids. When we intake for a back pain case, we inventory the medications people are taking. We then update this during our interview before every visit, checking in about dosages and monitoring for dependencies. In fact, many patients come in to us right after being prescribed opioid meds. Our treatment helps them avoid filling those prescriptions in the first place.
At our clinic, we have a questionnaire that asks if our treatment has reduced a patient’s need for opioids. Overall, we have seen dramatic reductions in medication dependencies with the application of chiropractic and body work. We do not hear patients saying that they then needed to go on to fill a pain med prescription. Reviewing our cases, I can report that 100% of cases where patients entered the practice on an opioid med resulted in them being able to discontinue it prior to release.
Chiropractic can specifically help with this because it involves a conservative philosophy and a form of natural pain relief. We can help you sort all the information you are receiving, and plug it into a healthy lifestyle plan. Chiropractic is ideal for this issue because we spend the time to make detailed recommendations and fit them into functionality – and at Blue Heron Chiropractic, we take fitness and function very seriously.
As a Chiropractor in NE Portland, Blue Heron Chiropractic is a full service Alternative Healthcare clinic. We feature modern and effective chiropractic and chiropractic orthopedics, massage, exercise rehabilitation and natural medicines on Northeast (NE) Broadway in Portland, Oregon. Directed by Dr. Dana Sibilla, treat new pain and persisting pain, auto or work injuries. We also boost performance and add to Wellness and Vitality. We manage wellness, treating a range of conditions, from back pain to whiplash to migraines, fibromyalgia, sciatica and joint pain. Furthermore, we integrate well with all other providers. Finally, if you have questions about how Chiropractic can help you, or about exercise, pain or pain management, schedule an appointment today.