About 30 years ago, there was a fundamental shift in medicine as to how pain was understood and treated. The number of people with chronic pain seemed to be rising, and it was thought that the options to address the pain weren’t adequate.
Why it Matters:
As doctors paid more attention to assessing pain, they also paid more attention to treating pain. Opioid medication began to be prescribed more often for symptoms such as chronic low back or neck pain.
Until then, opioids were only prescribed for severe pain after surgery or in advanced-stage cancer. But in the early 1990s, that all changed. New opioid formulas were promoted as being less addictive, and physicians were encouraged to prescribe these drugs far more liberally than before.
Prescribing these drugs very quickly led to a variety of problems. First, patients rapidly adapted to the drugs, requiring larger and larger doses to achieve the same effect over time. Second, these drugs weren’t very effective at addressing chronic pain. They provided short term relief, but as time went on, they seemed to become less useful for a lot of people. Finally, these drugs provided a euphoric feeling that quickly led to addiction.
Now 30 years later, we are consumed with the opioid crisis. Over 130 people die each day from opioids, and over 40% of those deaths are from prescribed opioids.
If there is a silver lining to this crisis, it’s that we now realize that the answers and treatment for chronic pain are rarely found in a bottle. Many leading healthcare organizations are now recommending non-pharmacological approaches to treatment of chronic pain, including chiropractic.
This month our practice will be focusing on providing you with information on how you can overcome pain without the use of drugs. It’s time to get your life back naturally!
(1) Understanding the Epidemic. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2018
Degenerative disc disease is a condition that can affect your spinal discs as you age. Due to stress and injury throughout your life, your spinal discs may begin to deteriorate and cause pain. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent degenerative disc disease, but researchers have discovered a few ways that you may be able to slow down the process.
Slipped or herniated discs happen when the inside of your spinal disc pushes through the disc’s exterior. Believe it or not, most herniated discs don’t cause any pain or symptoms. However, if you are struggling with sudden pain after lifting or twisting, a herniated disc certainly may be to blame.
You’ve felt back pain. What’s causing it, and how can you tell if your back pain is muscle or disc related? Well, there are several common causes of back pain, and the first step on your road to recovery is identifying what type of back issue you’re dealing with.