Your approach to health, healing and pain relief should never have to fit inside a one-size-fits-all box. If you’ve visited a doctor for pain, you may have noticed a trend. Many traditional physicians today 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.
Why Chiropractic Care Is an Attractive Alternative to Medication
Unlike medication, chiropractic care seeks to heal the issue instead of hiding symptoms. Chiropractors strive to get the body in proper alignment to allow for natural, full healing. The benefit of chiropractic care over medication really rests in chiropractic care’s ability to deliver long-term, body-wide healing that doesn’t “evaporate” once a prescription is finished.
The Pitfalls of Taking Medication for Pain
Pain medication can be effective for short-term pain relief. However, it isn’t necessarily required. Many patients find that the risks of taking medication for pain simply outweigh the benefits by a substantial amount. Here’s a look at some factors to strongly consider if you’re thinking of taking pain medication that is prescribed by a doctor:
- Pain medication often triggers very serious side effects that impact everything from mood to metabolism. Medication may not be a realistic option for someone who needs to be able to drive or operate machinery due to the fact that it can often cause sleepiness or dull the reflexes.
- Pain medication can become addictive. People with histories of addiction or addictive behaviors are often strongly advised against taking prescription medications.
- One of the major pitfalls of using medication to manage pain is that it’s relatively common to develop a tolerance to pain medication. Unfortunately, the only way to continue to receive the benefits of a medication in this case is to increase dosage.
- The masking effect can happen when pain medication is used to “numb” a pain source. Unfortunately, this can make it difficult to get to the root of a pain problem. Numbing pain can also make it more likely that you’ll continue to injure or irritate the area of your body that needs healing.
- Overdosing is a very real and serious reality that all people must know about when taking prescription medications. Overdose can occur when a person accidentally takes too high a dosage in a short window of time.
Worries regarding prescription medications are far from anecdotal. The statistics regarding prescription medications in the United States tell the story quite clearly. According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, more than 130 people die every day from opioid misuse. More than 10 million are misusing their prescribed opioid medication. What’s more, more than 2 million people are misusing opioids for the first time each year. It all adds up to millions of lives being lost or negatively affected by prescription medications that they potentially could have avoided taking by exploring holistic options instead. The good news is that many physicians are beginning to change course on prescription medications after seeing just how devastating the epidemic has been on the public. However, those physicians don’t necessarily have alternative solutions that don’t involve referring you to a surgeon for a procedure that may or may not actually be necessary for your specific type of pain or injury. This is where seeing a chiropractor as your first line of treatment can create an entirely different type of experience.
Investigating the Chiropractic Option
Most chiropractors who offer pain-focused treatments are not necessarily at odds with the medical community regarding the efficacy of prescription medications under the right circumstances. Most chiropractors believe that certain pain medications can be beneficial for providing relief while a long-term solution for healing is being developed. However, many patients never get to the second part of the equation because they aren’t presented with options other than long-term medication use. Some very positive and surprising things can happen when chiropractic care is introduced for pain management. It’s also important to say that chiropractors aren’t against surgical interventions when they are found to be necessary. In fact, many chiropractors work in collaboration with primary physicians and specialists to create comprehensive care plans. This means you never have to worry about an obvious solution being overlooked if you opt to see a chiropractor first.
One study of the impact of chiropractic care on pain relief that was released in 2019 found that patients who saw chiropractors as their initial provider for lower-back pain decreased their odds of experiencing early and long-term opioid use by 90 percent. This should be seen as encouraging news for anyone seeking effective pain relief without any risk of dependency. What’s more, it is encouraging because patients who seek chiropractic care as a first treatment often don’t need to pursue more extreme or invasive care options.
What to Expect When Seeking Chiropractic Treatments for Pain
Chiropractors treat every type of pain. While lower-back pain is a common reason for seeing a chiropractor, essentially every area of the body can be addressed through chiropractic adjustments. At the root of chiropractic care is a search for imbalances and blockages within the nervous system that are impairing body function. Addressing an imbalance allows the body to perform at optimal function both at the site of pain and throughout every physiological system.
Unfortunately, medication really only masks pain without correcting its cause. Chiropractors take a relentless diagnostic approach that pinpoints why the pain developed in the first place. This can be extremely effective for both subtle injuries and pain that’s caused by poor habits. For instance, lower-back, neck or shoulder pain that seems to come on for “phantom” reasons may actually be the result of poor posture. In addition to correcting the imbalance within the nervous system, a chiropractor can therapeutically demonstrate how to use proper posture to prevent the issue from occurring. This is precisely why chiropractic care is considered effective for permanently fixing issues. For people who take medication, the problem returns each time the medication wears off.
Chiropractic care is generally considered to be the safest treatment option for pain because patients don’t take medication or undergo complicated procedures. Every aspect of correcting an issue through adjustments requires careful, gentle manipulation of the spine and joints. What’s more, patients are able to take part in their own healing by learning specific exercises and techniques that help them to heal and strengthen their bodies. The result is often short-term pain relief mixed with long-term wellness!
Seeking Pain Relief? Medication Isn’t the Only Option
If you’ve been prescribed pain medication, you may feel like it’s your only option for getting relief. However, it’s so important for people dealing with pain to understand that alternative options do exist. Chiropractic adjustments can be effective for pain management and long-term relief without any negative side effects or dependency worries. What may be presented as a “quick fix” simply can’t compare to the relief and healing that are felt when pain is properly addressed through a holistic, comprehensive scope. Bring your pain concerns to a chiropractor if you’d like to get pain relief without medication!