The Chronic Pain Crisis is the Opioid Crisis

Bottom Line:


What began as a chronic pain epidemic has evolved into our current opioid crisis. For decades, opioids were marketed as a "safer" alternative to treat chronic pain. However, as the number of people with chronic pain began to rise, so did the number of people addicted and dying from prescription opioids.



Why it Matters:

To address our opioid crisis, we will first need to find non-pharmacological solutions to our chronic pain epidemic. Over the past few years, major healthcare agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have recognized that non-pharmacological approaches should be the first line of care for the management of chronic pain.


New studies have indicated that there is a reason to be hopeful. Non-drug care options, such as chiropractic, are very effective at helping people reduce pain. Even people with severe chronic pain have been shown to benefit from the care that chiropractors can provide.

- Chronic low back pain will affect up to 20% of people over 18 years old.

- Cooperation between your Medical Doctor and Chiropractor can help provide the best results.

- Chiropractic care has been shown to provide better outcomes than care in a pain clinic.


Next Steps:


This change to a primarily non-pharmacological based approach to care for chronic pain is unprecedented in healthcare. Yes, there will always be certain circumstances where powerful medications may need to be used, but most pain patients don't fall into this category.


We can't undo the damage that has been done, but we can learn from the past and work together to overcome chronic pain. The research continues to show that chiropractic care is both safe and effective for treating your pain without any of the dangerous side effects associated with opioid medications. Dr. Tavis Johansson and 3 Rivers Chiropractic are dedicated to helping you achieve drug-free pain relief.


Luckily here in Montana we have been making progress with opiate related deaths and overdoses and Governor Bullock has made that a priority.


“There is simply too much at stake not to address the invisible epidemic that Montana – and much of the rest of the nation – faces,” Governor Bullock said. “In Montana, we refused to let the challenges be used as an excuse for inaction and have made significant progress in addressing opioid abuse and saving lives. This report confirms we’re on the right path and informs future steps as we continue to ensure that opioid use trends downward.”




Science Source(s):


Prevalence of chronic low back pain: a systematic review. Rev Saude Publica. 2015


A Comparison Between Chiropractic Management and Pain Clinic Management for Chronic Low-Back Pain in a National Health Service Outpatient Clinic. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. Volume 14, Number 5, 2008


Governor Bullock Announces Montana Bucks National Trends with Opioid Overdose Death Decline.