Prior to the recent acknowledgement of the opioid crisis, opioids had become a go-to solution for chronic pain. As the real dangers have become more recognized, there has been a great call to action for alternatives for these patients. New laws restricting the usage of opioids are coming, but doctors and clinics are already trying to reduce the number of prescriptions given to help prevent more from becoming addicted.
For those who are already taking opioids by prescription from their doctor, a future without those medications can be scary. How will they cope with their pain? How will they continue to do normal activities such as work while dealing with chronic pain?
According to a Chattanooga local news report, some patients have been given the medications so long that they feel “they cannot survive without a high level of drugs.” The report highlights a local patient who has been taking strong opioids for 14 years to deal with pain associated with a back injury, who states, “It’ll ruin my life… There’s no way I can conduct life as I know it… I’m going to lose everything I’ve got… I’m not going to be able to work. I wish that I wouldn’t have took it the first time if this was going to be the outcome.”
The report also includes a conversation with Dr. Nita Shumaker, the current president of the Tennessee Medical Association, who agrees while there are no easy answers, steps must be taken to help people avoid opioids. She states, “My stance is we’ve got to stop the first prescription. We’ve got to stop using opioids and addicting people. You double your risk of addiction if you take more than 3-5 days worth of medication.” While, she says, patients may be looking at surgery, or utilizing “alternative methods” to handle the pain; she cautions that continuing to take high dose opioids is dangerous. “…He can’t stay at these high doses, because he’s going to end up accidentally overdosing and dying.”
“The Tennessee Chiropractic Association is aware that many patients across our state are dealing with acute and chronic pain and will be impacted by the new rules for opioid prescriptions,” explains TCA Executive Director Tiffany Stevens. “The TCA joins with the medical community in promoting non-opioid pain treatments to help Tennesseans avoid addiction and other dangers of these strong medications.”
Across Tennessee, members of the Association are working with state task forces, sharing information about drug-free pain management alternatives in their communities and connecting with other health care providers to reach out and offer information on the benefits of chiropractic care for acute and chronic pain.
Chiropractic physicians are proud to offer a safe and effective alternative for treating pain. After performing an exam and obtaining the individual’s complete medical history, the chiropractor can set forth a treatment plan to help alleviate and/or control the patient’s pain. The plan may include spinal adjustment, therapeutic modalities and/or rehabilitation exercises depending on the patient’s specific needs.
Whether someone has been taking pain medications for a long time, or if they have just developed a problem that is causing pain, seeing their local chiropractor may help reduce the need for pain medications of any type, especially dangerous opioids, and thereby avoid the potentially deadly interactions, side effects and addictions that may accompany them.
We have many highly qualified doctors of chiropractic across the state who are ready and able to assist patients achieve better pain control without dangerous medications. You can find a doctor of chiropractic near you at https://www.tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor/.
SOURCE: Reduction of opioid prescriptions causing concern for patients – 12/21/17 news report by Bill Mitchell – https://wdef.com/2017/12/21/reduction-opioid-prescriptions-cause-concern-patients/