Chiropractic Care Tied to Significant Reduction in Opioid Scripts
DENVER — Chiropractic care for musculoskeletal pain is associated with a significant reduction in opioid prescriptions compared with non-chiropractic care in this patient population, new research suggests.
In a new meta-analysis and systematic review, patients who visited a chiropractor for a musculoskeletal pain condition were 49% less likely to receive an opioid prescription than their counterparts who went to other healthcare providers.
Kelsey L. Corcoran, DC
“Preventing opioid addiction and overdose continues to be a significant public health priority; and as part of a strategy to lessen opioid use, clinical guidelines now recommend many non-pharmacological options to be considered as front-line treatment ahead of any medication,” lead author Kelsey L. Corcoran, DC, VA Connecticut Health Care System and Yale Center for Medical Informatics, Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, told Medscape Medical News.
“Chiropractors provide many of the treatments included in the clinical guidelines for the initial treatment of low back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis of the hip, knee, and hand,” Corcoran said.
The findings were presented here at the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) 2019 Annual Meeting.
“Chiropractic management is not limited to manipulation, but also may include other manual therapies, massage, and therapeutic exercise instruction. However, assessment of the impact of these diverse approaches is beyond the scope of their study,” she added.
Notwithstanding her caution, Hansen commended the investigators for their efforts in conducting the study.
“This timely meta-analysis supports the need for further research in an important area. It is important to remind people suffering from musculoskeletal pain to consult their physicians for a thorough medical evaluation prior to adopting a chiropractic program or exercise regimen,” she concluded.