Spinal pain is common and impactful, as low back pain is the first and neck pain is the fourth most common cause of years lived with disability globally, according to the Global Burden of Disease Study in 2010 (1,2). Do you or a loved one suffer from any form of spinal pain? This is an important article could make the world of difference to you.
“Patients with high-impact chronic spinal pain (chronic pain limiting life and work activities) use opioids at a rate almost four times that of those with low-impact pain, and on average use over five times the morphine equivalent dose (3)”
The most common condition for which opioids are prescribed is back pain (4). Between 2011 and 2016, opioid use among the aged Medicare population increased. 11-14% of Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older were prescribed opioids (5). Opioid analgesics continue to be widely prescribed for spinal pain despite current clinical guidelines that are evidence based identifying that non-pharmacological therapies are the preferred first line of approach (6).
In recent research literature, where they conducted a retrospective observational study, looking through Medicare claim data. It was found that among older Medicare beneficiaries with spinal pain, use of chiropractic care is associated with significantly lower risk of filling an opioid prescription (7). So for spinal pain it would be important to try non-pharmacological approaches first which is recommended by the guidelines, as it is a far safer approach to deal with spinal pain.
So if you want to find out if chiropractic care may help manage spinal pain for you or your loved ones, have a chat with one of our chiropractors to see how they can assist.
“It’s always better to try the least invasive and safe approach first when it comes to our health”
1. Hoy D, March L, Brooks P, et al. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014;73:968-974.
2. Hoy D, March L, Woolf A, et al. The global burden of neck pain: estimates from the global burden of disease 2010 study. Ann Rheum Dis. 2014;73:1309-1315.
3. Herman PM, Broten N, Lavelle TA, Sorbero ME, Coulter ID. Health care costs and opioid use associated with high-impact chronic spinal pain in the United States. Spine. 2019;44:1154-1161.
4. Hudson TJ, Edlund MJ, Stefck DE, Tripathi SP, Sullivan MD. Epidemiology of regular prescribed opioid use: results from a national, populationbased survey. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2008;36:280–8.
5. Jefery MM, Hooten WM, Henk HJ, et al. Trends in opioid use in commercially insured and Medicare Advantage populations in 2007–16: retrospective cohort study. BMJ 2018;362:k2833.:https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj. k2833.
6. Qaseem A, Wilt TJ, McLean RM, Forciea MA. Noninvasive treatments for acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain: a clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:514–30.
7. Whedon, J.M., Uptmor, S., Toler, A.W., Bezdjian, S., MacKenzie, T.A. and Kazal, L.A., 2022. Association between chiropractic care and use of prescription opioids among older medicare beneficiaries with spinal pain: a retrospective observational study. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 30(1), pp.1-9.
Blogs by the team at Sprouting Health