Effectiveness of Opioids for Pain Control is Questionable while Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation is Recommended

June 12, 2018

Opioids. They’re in the news. Richmond doesn’t escape the opioid issue. Johnson Chiropractic knows some Richmond chiropractic patients with Richmond back pain struggle with opioids that were, at one time, prescribed to help them cope with their back pain and now desire to be off of them. Johnson Chiropractic gets it and is ready to help Richmond back pain sufferers find relief without opioid drugs. The effectiveness of opioid drugs for control of Richmond back pain is doubted while spinal manipulation such as offered at Johnson Chiropractic is recommended.


Low back pain overwhelms its sufferers’ life. It’s not a surprise that a back pain sufferer wants a pill to get rid of the pain, a Richmond back surgery to remove the pain’s cause now.  Sometimes it’s not that easy: the pill may have unwelcome effects or the benefits may not last very long; the surgery relief may not continue or resulted in an unexpected result. Johnson Chiropractic values the role of drugs for pain relief when needed, admires the part back surgery plays in a Richmond back pain sufferer’s journey toward pain relief and a better quality of life. Johnson Chiropractic also offers complementary care to those back pain relief options and, for some Richmond back pain sufferers, back surgery prevention as well as post-back surgery rehabilitation and Richmond back pain relief.


A recent Cochrane data review of randomized clinical trials on the effectiveness of opioids and other drugs for chronic low back pain concluded that the effectiveness is sadly quite modest. Opioids’ effects on pain reduction and function improvement are small to moderate and brief versus placebo. The side effects, serious ones for those who use strong opioids for a long period of time, were common. (1) Some patients react better to drug therapies than others. Researchers found it hard to figure out just how effective drugs like oxycodone and clobazam and imipramine will be for which chronic low back pain patient. (2) Johnson Chiropractic understands the Richmond back pain patient who comes for Richmond chiropractic care and sets the appropriate treatment plan to get some back pain relief.


Patients opt for back surgery often for pain relief or a quick fix that will remove the need for pain control drugs. Researchers checked into this idea and reported that many back pain sufferers who were took opioids before surgery expected that surgery would fix the problem and not have to take opioids anymore. Reality shows that of 2491 adults who underwent lumbar fusion back surgery, 1045 took long-term opioids before surgery, and 1094 took opioids after surgery. Of the pre-operative opioid patients, 77.1% kept consuming them long-term, 13.8% occasionally, and just 9.1% discontinued or consumed them short-term afterward. 34.4% continued with a lower dose while 44.8% continued with a higher dose. Of those who didn’t use any opioids before back surgery, 12.8% became long-term users.  What was the bottom line? What do patients need to know who are considering Richmond back surgery as the final answer to their Richmond back pain? Lumbar fusion back surgery rarely ended the long-term opioid use and increased the risk of starting their use afterwards.  Patient expectations of pain reduction and opioid use reduction demand reconsideration. (3)


Researchers work to develop guidelines for back pain relief treatment. These guidelines state that non-effective treatments should not be used (systemic corticosteroids, TENS, traction, electrical muscle stim, benozodiazepines, botulinum toxin injection, etc.) and suggest that clinicians coach and encourage patients, advise them to stay active and do self-care. Acute back pain patients can do exercise, manual therapy, heat, and NSAIDS. Chronic back pain patients can use exercise, yoga, manual therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, acupuncture, biofeedback, massage, rehabilitation, etc. Radicular back pain patients may choose exercise, spinal manipulation, NSAIDs.  (4) Richmond chiropractic care at Johnson Chiropractic  suits these guidelines. Johnson Chiropractic offers a Richmond chiropractic treatment plan of spinal manipulation with Cox Technic, exercise, rehabilitation, and more.

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Schedule you Richmond chiropractic appointment now with Johnson Chiropractic. Opioids are not the only means to find Richmond back pain relief, particularly Richmond chronic low back pain. Johnson Chiropractic offers hope for chronic low back pain relief to Richmond back pain sufferers desiring a way to avoid or escape the opioid epidemic.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation at Johnson Chiropractic is worthwhile over opioids for back pain control.