You are most likely aware of the JAMA study examining the effect of opioids for patients with chronic hip, knee, or low back pain, wherein the authors concluded: “treatment with opioids is not superior to treatment with nonopioid medications for improving pain-related function. Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy.”
Most physicians are hesitant to initiate opioid therapy, but options for those patients already using opioids are limited. I thought that you might be interested in new research that provides hope. An extensive study (comprised of all New Hampshire adults with at least two clinical office visits within 90 days for a primary diagnosis of low-back pain) concluded that pain relief resulting from chiropractic treatment might allow patients to use lower or less frequent doses of opioids:
“The likelihood of filling a prescription for an opioid analgesic was significantly lower for recipients of services delivered by doctors of chiropractic compared with nonrecipients. Average charges per person for opioid prescriptions were also significantly lower among recipients.”
Chiropractic is certainly not the magic solution for the opioid crisis. However, this research illustrates how patients benefit when medical physicians and chiropractors work toward an integrated model. We are proud to be your partner in co-managing these challenging cases.