Suffering from chronic pain affects every area of your life: relationships, daily functioning, and life goals just to name a few. You may be ready to take the advice of any doctor who offers a new prescription for pain medication, hoping this might be the one to numb the pain you experience every day.
However, people just like you have started out with prescriptions in hand, hopeful for pain relief, only to end up addicted to the very substances that are supposed to set them free. Before you head back to your doctor's office, try an appointment with a chiropractor for your pain.
Chiropractors against pain medications
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a press release urging those with chronic pain to avoid prescription pain medications and seek chiropractic care instead. Their remarks were prompted by a Center for Disease Control (CDC) bulletin about the high number of people who are overdosing on prescription painkillers. Suggesting chiropractic care can eliminate the source of the pain rather than just masking symptoms, this group of chiropractors wants to see people avoid the trap of addiction.
How chiropractors eliminate pain
To say chiropractic care can eliminate pain is a pretty big boast. It's one with a pretty big audience too, as 22 million Americans see chiropractors each year because they are in pain. How exactly do chiropractors treat pain?
- Detailed medical history. Chiropractors start with a thorough medical history on each client.
- Lab tests and imaging. Blood work, X-rays, and other diagnostic helps are sometimes necessary to pinpoint the cause of pain.
- Manual adjustments. These are the "hands on" techniques most often associated with chiropractors, and the factor that differentiates chiropractic care from all other interventions. A practitioner may massage or otherwise manipulate the spine or joints so as to bring proper alignment. This can often bring immediate pain relief!
- Nutritional counseling. Because chiropractors emphasize a holistic approach to healing, it may prove helpful to change one's diet or add dietary supplements to support the body's natural defenses. There are many foods that can reduce pain, such as ginger, salmon, red grapes, and olive oil. Turmeric and thyme can help ease discomfort as well.
- Exercise. Limited, repetitive exercises may be prescribed to strengthen affected areas of the body. Further, an ongoing exercise regimen may be urged for overall health.
You may be intrigued by these exhortations and new approaches to pain management, but yet need some additional convincing that making a chiropractic appointment is a good idea. A variety of scientific articles posted on the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) website attest to the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for acute and chronic pain, neck pain, and headaches. For instance, one study reports that patients with neck pain experienced relief from spinal mobilization than patients assigned to other treatment modalities—at one-third the cost.
Another study, just published this year, reports that 94% of patients receiving spinal--thrust manipulation for their back pain reported more than a 30% reduction in pain, compared to only 69% of those who received traditional medical care.
By the numbers
Back in the traditional prescription painkiller camp, 259 million people are taking millions of pills and not achieving lasting pain relief. The CDC bulletin referenced at the beginning of this article notes that 46 people die each day from painkiller overdoses. Further, those using prescription painkillers often graduate to using heroin, a cheaper and more easily available alternative with an even greater overdose potential due to its unregulated production. Those taking prescription painkillers are 40% more likely to jump to heroin than those who do not take take painkillers. Unfortunately, neither prescription pills nor heroin can eliminate the source of pain—something chiropractic care can often do successfully.
If you are in chronic pain, don't call your doctor for another prescription; call a chiropractor for a consultation.