30 Nov Medication vs Chiropractic Care for Chronic Pain
We know that chiropractic care for chronic pain can be a safer alternative to pain medication and opioids. But, is it as effective? What effect does one have on the other? Is it best to approach chronic pain with both? Let’s dive into just how beneficial chiropractic care for chronic pain can be.
Before we dive into this debate, let’s start off by acknowledging that pain is personal. It does not come in one size or shape. Therefore, the treatment of pain also comes in many varieties. Pain is also very real and can be extremely debilitating. This is why we want to discuss all options for chronic pain relief.
Many conventional doctors are quick to prescribe pain medication. The medication option comes with some very serious implications. That’s why it’s good to know that alternative options are available. Many people are taking control of their own health, healing and recovery using noninvasive, natural chiropractic treatments. Yes, you can get pain relief without the need to take pills. Explore what patients need to know about pain medication versus chiropractic care.
What is Chronic Pain?
Chronic pain is generally defined as pain that typically lasts three months or longer, or past the time of normal tissue healing. It is very common, and it can be the result of an injury, and underlying medical disease or condition, chronic inflammation and more. In the United States, 20.4% (50.0 million) adults suffer from chronic pain, and 8.0% (19.6 million) of U.S. adults have high-impact chronic pain (chronic pain limiting life and work activities). (1)
Pain Medication for Chronic Pain
Many conventional doctors are quick to prescribe pain medication. In fact, an estimated “20% of patients presenting to physician offices with noncancer pain symptoms or pain-related diagnoses (including acute and chronic pain) receive an opioid prescription” (2). While opioids serve a purpose in the pain management space, there are serious risks involved with taking them, especially when it comes to chronic pain. Side effects, including addiction and abuse are serious risks. From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 persons died from overdose related to opioid pain medication in the United States (3).
The medication option comes with some very serious implications. That’s why it’s good to know that alternative options are available. Many people are taking control of their own health, healing and recovery using noninvasive, natural chiropractic treatments. Yes, you can get pain relief without the need to take pills. Explore what patients need to know about pain medication versus chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Care for Chronic Pain
Part of chiropractic care for chronic pain is determining what is causing the pain in the first place. Whether it is an injury, an underlying disease, or even chronic inflammation, chiropractic care takes a holistic (whole-body) approach to your care. This means that along with chiropractic adjustment, chiropractors assess what lifestyle and nutritional factors may be contributing to your pain.
How Does a Chiropractor Help to Manage Chronic Pain?
A chiropractor will conduct a physical exam as well as some imaging and other tests to help him or her diagnose your pain. Once the chiropractor has a better idea of your pain condition, he or she will develop a treatment plan. Your chiropractic treatment plan may include spinal manipulation, manual therapies, spinal decompression, and/or therapeutic exercises. However, this is not all that may be included in your plan. Vitamin supplementation for both acute pain and the treatment of more systematic/chronic conditions is also recommended.
How Can Vitamin Supplementation Help with Chronic Pain?
Vitamin supplementation can be a highly effective alternative to pain medication. Vitamins can target chronic pain symptoms. For instance, magnesium has been shown to help lessen post-operative and neuropathic pain (4). B12 has been associated with multiple beneficial effects of vitamin B12 including the regeneration of nerves and the inhibition of pain-signaling pathways (5).
While there are countless other vitamins and minerals that can help with chronic pain symptoms, supplements can also be used to approach pain systematically. Collagen, for instance, can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Treating the gut microbiome can have a drastic effect on overall inflammation in the body that can trigger chronic pain, migraines and more.
The Case for Chiropractic Care for Chronic Pain
The long and short of this debate is simple. Chiropractic care for chronic pain is not only much safer than pain medication, but it can also be more effective. This is not to say that pain medication doesn’t play an important role in some cases. Sometimes medication is needed. However, chiropractic care can be a holistic, long-term solution to chronic pain without the risk for addiction.
If you are interested in chiropractic care for chronic pain, fill out the form below. Or, drop us a question in the comments section.