Chiropractic Moves welcomes Dr Paul Calladine who wrote has written this guest blog for us today.
A recent report published by the Penington Institute, Australia’s Annual Overdose Report 2016 (1), highlights some alarming statistics related to the use, and abuse, of prescription medications. Specifically, painkillers, opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain management.
The problem is that more people are being harmed by legally prescribed pain medications than illicit drug use. The statistics reveal an ever increasing number of death, overdose and addiction in what health experts have labelled an ‘opioid epidemic.’
The Penington Institute report, drawing on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, details key metrics relating to overdose deaths in Australia between 2004 and 2014.
Are painkillers effective in treating back and neck pain?
We know that some painkiller prescriptions are issued for musculoskeletal issues such as back and neck pain.
Consider this: would routinely taking a painkiller ever address possible underlying causes of your back pain?
Several research papers have called into question the efficacy of pain medication in treating back and neck pain.
One study concludes “paracetamol is ineffective in the treatment of low back pain” (2) and another study concludes, “opioid analgesics provide modest short-term pain relief but the effect is not likely to be clinically important” (3).
Additionally, adverse events associated with opioid use have been well documented (4).
Chiropractic – a natural approach to health
Chiropractors commonly help back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal issues. Chiropractic care offers a natural, drug-free and ‘hands on’ approach to healthcare.
Over 200,000 Australians visit their local chiropractor each week, many for the relief of spinal, postural or chronic pain concerns.
Although the dramatic increase in pain medication use and overdose is an issue for urgent attention, other forms of pain management, such as chiropractic care for back and neck pain, may also have a role to play in better serving healthcare needs.
It’s worth considering.