The battle against opioid abuse and over prescription is very real both in North America and around the world. Education of alternatives to the use of opioid medications for both the public and health care practitioners is of utmost importance in battling this epidemic.
A major contributor to the overuse of opioids is low back pain.
A few interesting facts about back pain (via: ACAToday.org):
-Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
-Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
-One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
-Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
-Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
-Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.
Educating those seeking help and those giving help in the area of non-pharmaceutical treatment options is an important step to overcoming the over use of opioids. In his most recent study, Dr. James Whedon found that patients who seek Chiropractic care are less likely to use opioids and other drugs. A program of manipulation, rehabilitative exercise and lifestyle modifications can help most cases of low back pain without the prolonged use of drugs or surgery.