Reduction of Narcotics by Using Chiropractic Care for Pain Management
There are a few serious health issues that face those living in the United States in today’s society. One of the most pressing is that of chronic pain. Chronic pain is, as the name suggests, pain that never really goes away. A study released in 2015 by the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) states that almost 50 million adults in the United States are living with chronic pain. And while the source of the pain might be known or unknown, the fact of the matter is that there is no easy fix for the problem.
One of the most common “treatment” methods for pain management in the States is the use of narcotic pain relievers. This widespread use has created its own problems for individuals around the country, and perhaps the worst part is that it doesn’t even treat the underlying cause of the pain itself. Luckily, effective options for pain management, other than narcotics use, exist. Let’s take a look at the impact that narcotics can have upon individuals across the country as well as how chiropractic care can serve as a viable alternative.
The Narcotic Epidemic
According to data released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, narcotic use among the general population has been steadily increasing over the past two decades. In fact, the number of individuals who have died as a result of a narcotics overdose has more than quadrupled. That means that between the years of 2000 and 2015, over half a million individuals in the United States alone have overdosed on opioids and died as a result and 91 people will die from an overdose every day.
In 2015, as many as 12.5 million people abused prescription opioids (narcotics). Over those, 2.1 million were first time abusers and 2 million had prescription opioid abuse disorder. As many as 33,091 individuals died from narcotics overdose that year alone, and it is important to keep in mind that this only includes the deaths that were reported. Deaths attributed to narcotics abuse can be difficult to accurately ascertain because not all individuals abusing the opioids will make themselves readily available to individuals in authority, be they doctors or law enforcement officers. The reported number, then, is likely underreported.
Why are narcotics so often abused?
You might be wondering why narcotics abuse is such a big problem. The problem is two-fold. First off, there are too many physicians prescribing narcotics to their patients as their main method of pain management. This naturally leads to an increased supply of narcotics that can be abused. Secondly, narcotics are incredibly addictive. Many of us don’t like to think about it, but it is actually quite easy to accidentally become addicted to narcotics, and it happens to individuals taking prescription medication for pain all the time. Even using the medication as directed could lead down the path to addiction, and end up causing patients far more harm than good at the end of the day.
Side Effects of Narcotics
Not everyone who takes an opioid pain reliever will become addicted to it, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t experience negative side effects all the same. Narcotics users might experience some of the following, even during short-term use of the drug:
- Respiratory depression
Those issues on their own seem pretty unpleasant to me, and remember that those are short-term effects – the “mild” effects that stop once you stop taking the medication. So, what about long-term effects of the drug? Well, the long-term side effects of narcotics can more serious, and include:
- Abdominal bloating and distension
- Liver damage
- Vomiting and nausea
- Severe constipation
- Brain damage
- Tolerance development
What is chiropractic care?
Narcotics are not the only option when it comes to pain management. Chiropractic care, for example, is a care system that places the idea that the body’s structure, and especially its spine, affect every part of the body. This means that problems with the spine could create or exacerbate a variety of pain issues in your body – but it also means that working to realign the spine and reinforcing the structural integrity of your body could help relieve that pain.
How Chiropractic Can Help with Pain Management
In individuals who live with pain, chiropractic techniques can have a big impact upon their overall quality of life. To name a few, this includes those experiencing:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Instead of covering up the pain without treating its cause, chiropractic care works to help promote self-healing in your body. That means that this kind of care can actually work to heal your body and help reduce the amount of pain that you experience on a day-to-day basis.
If you are experiencing chronic pain, narcotics might not be the answer. They can lead to addiction and might end up making you feel worse than you already do. Instead, you should consider asking about chiropractic care and how it could potentially work to promote healing in your body and reduce the amount of pain you feel in a safe way. Dr. Teachout and the rest of the staff at our office truly care about your well-being, we’d love to be there for you as you pursue other methods of pain management.
Reducing Narcotic Usage
Narcotics usage in the United States has reached a high and incredibly dangerous level. The government and many physicians and patients themselves, are referring to the widespread abuse of these drugs as an epidemic, and it’s certainly true that millions of individuals are currently suffering from narcotics addiction while millions more are abusing the drug for the first time.
In order to reduce the use of narcotics, it is important to understand that there is hope outside of drugs when it comes to pain management.
All in all, our practice in Fort Myers is a great option to help with your chronic pain. Chiropractic care has been shown to effectively manage pain and heal the body without turning to the use of highly addictive substances in the process. If you’re interested in pain management that doesn’t put you at risk of addiction, chiropractic care could be the best option for you, contact us today!