Friday Five – F4CP Shares 5 New Studies About Pain Management
Each September, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (@F4CP), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating the public about the value of chiropractic care, sponsors National Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month. The goal of the annual designation is to educate the general public about safe, effective pain management approaches, and calls for expanding access to drug-free care.
#1 Opioid prescriptions for noncancer pain decrease yet other drugs increase
According to a study published in June in JAMA Network Open, although opioid prescriptions for noncancer pain are down by one-third in the U.S. since new federal guidelines were enacted, the growth of nonopioid painkiller prescriptions has increased, effectively trading one potentially risky drug for another.
“While it is encouraging that physicians are prescribing fewer opioids, simply replacing one drug with another is not the answer to safe, effective, long-term pain management,” said Sherry McAllister, DC, president of F4CP. “Instead, patients suffering from acute or chronic pain should seek out natural, drug-free methods first to improve symptoms and quality of life without the risk of dangerous Rx side effects or dependency.”
#2 More deaths from opioid overdoses
Drug overdose deaths increased a staggering 30% between 2019 and 2020, according to a report from the CDC, with increases involving benzodiazepines and all types of opioids, both prescribed and illicit. Currently, an estimated 187 people a day die from opioid overdoses. Although deaths are primarily due to nonprescription opioids, 80% of heroin users reported first misusing prescription opioids.
#3 Physical pain worsened by mental or emotional pain
Mental health conditions, such as depression or anxiety, can exacerbate physical pain and increase the risk of overdose or death. According to the results of a Harris Poll conducted on behalf of F4CP and released in July, nearly half of U.S. adults (44%) report that they have experienced physical pain that they believe was worsened due to mental or emotional pain.
#4 Type of healthcare provider first seen for low back pain profoundly impacts outcomes
A new study (Elton, et al) indicates that the type of healthcare provider (HCP) initially contacted by individuals with low back pain and neck pain, may profoundly impact the services they receive and how much it costs. If those individuals first contact a doctor of chiropractic (DC), licensed acupuncturist, physical therapist or osteopath, they are more likely to receive guideline-concordant care. The study concluded that DCs were the most cost-efficient HCP for the treatment of both conditions.
#5 Lack of knowledge or misconceptions about chiropractic care cause companies to spend 47% more on employee healthcare
A comprehensive new study of chiropractic and workers’ compensation claims by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) determined that when DCs delivered evaluation, care and management, the average medical cost per claim was 47% lower than that for the comparable non-chiropractic-only claims. The chiropractic-only claims also had 35% lower indemnity payments per claim and 26% shorter temporary disability durations.
“Choosing natural, drug-free care to manage pain benefits every healthcare stakeholder, but none more than patients,” said Dr. McAllister. “For this reason and many others, we call on the healthcare community to urge government officials, health insurers and employers to expand access to chiropractic and other evidence-based, conservative care, not only in September, but in every month, every year.”
About the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
A not-for-profit organization with over 29,000 members, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) informs and educates the general public about the value of chiropractic care delivered by doctors of chiropractic (DC) and its role in drug-free pain management. Visit www.f4cp.org/findadoc; call 866-901-F4CP (3427).
National Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month occurs every September to raise public awareness about the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter pain medications.