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Comparison Of Richmond Back Pain Relief Via Opioid Or Spinal Manipulation

“What should I do about my back pain? It’s been going on for so long.”

Sound familiar? It does for many Richmond chronic low back pain sufferers. Johnson Chiropractic knows  Richmond back pain patients wrestle with this question. There are many options – rest, exercise, meds, manipulation, chiropractic, medicine, yoga, acupuncture, surgery, etc. – which makes it difficult to choose. Recent studies have looked at the cost, safety, and risk of treatment escalation for patients who choose spinal manipulation first versus those who choose opioid analgesic treatment first for their chronic low back pain. The findings are thought-provoking.

COSTS OF OPIOID VS SMT FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS

Chronic low back pain is a costly condition, but just how costly is it? An analysis of Medicare health spendings for long-term care of chronic low back pain compared the costs of opioid analgesic treatment opposed to those for spinal manipulation therapy. There were 28,160 participants aged 65-84 years old. 77% began with opioid therapy for their chronic low back pain. 23% started with SMT. The long-term expenses for opioid-therapy patients were 58% lower, but long-term overall healthcare expenditures were 1.87 times greater for those same opioid patients. (1) Johnson Chiropractic follows a system of Richmond chiropractic treatment frequency guided by the 50% Rule seeking 50% relief of pain within a month with more visits in the beginning and less as the pain decreases.

SAFETY OF OPIOIDS VS SMT FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS

Cost is one thing. What about safety? A review of patient files of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 to 84 with chronic low back pain for 5 years looked at the long-term safety of two usual approaches to chronic low back pain: opioid analgesic therapy and spinal manipulation therapy. The researchers studied a variety of patient records: patients who only received spinal manipulation, only received opioids, started with opioids then had spinal manipulation, and began with spinal manipulation then supplemented with opioids. What did they discover? The risk of adverse drug events was quite a bit higher – 42 times higher - for patients who started with opioid therapy initially for their chronic back pain than those who started with spinal manipulation. (2) Johnson Chiropractic uses the well research-documented, safe, gentle protocols of Cox® Technic.

ESCALATION OF CARE RISK FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN MEDICARE PATIENTS

Research documents another key factor in back pain treatment: how well does a treatment keep a patient from having to undergo more complex treatment? A third review of Medicare patient data studied the risk of escalated treatments – hospital stays, emergency room visits, imaging, back surgery, pain med interventions, and other such encounters for possible complications of chronic low back pain – in long-term chronic low back pain care patients who started with opioid analgesic therapy or spinal manipulation therapy. Starting care with spinal manipulation therapy was linked to lower rates of escalation of care. The rate of escalated care encounters was 2.5 times higher for opioid care patients. (3) The use of Cox® Technic at Johnson Chiropractic minimizes the requirement for escalated care while cautiously monitoring each patient for any signs that such may be helpful or needed.

CONTACT Johnson Chiropractic

Listen to this PODCAST with Dr. Nike Taylor on The Back Doctors Podcast with Dr. Michael Johnson as she discusses treatment of chronic low back pain with the Cox® Technic Flexion Distraction System of Spinal Pain Management.

Schedule your Richmond chiropractic appointment now. Whether the response to the question of “what should I do about my back pain?” was opioid treatment or other care, spinal manipulation at Johnson Chiropractic may well be your next (or your first if you are just beginning the search for help) treatment that will get you the back pain relief you are seeking in a cost-effective, safe way. 

 
Johnson Chiropractic presents new comparison studies of the safety, cost, and effectiveness in reducing the need for further care of chronic low back pain: opioid vs spinal manipulation treatments. 
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"This information and website content is not intended to diagnose, guarantee results, or recommend specific treatment or activity. It is designed to educate and inform only. Please consult your physician for a thorough examination leading to a diagnosis and well-planned treatment strategy. See more details on the DISCLAIMER page. Content is reviewed by Dr. James M. Cox I."