Canada is suffering from an opioid crisis. According to Health Canada, there have been roughly 9,000 Canadian deaths as a result of opioid use since 2016. During the past two years, an average of 11 people has died each day across the nation from opioid-related incidents. The problem is at epidemic proportions.

Although the large majority of these deaths are accidental, many occur as a result of illegal drug use. For example, a heroin user may unknowingly inject heroin laced with fentanyl, a prescription opioid. Still, many of the deaths result from accidental overdoses or interactions from opioid medications that are legally prescribed to control severe pain.

There is no question that opioid drugs have legitimate uses. Under the supervision of a qualified physician, these medications can help control intense pain after trauma, surgery, or during a serious illness. However, even legitimate opioid use comes with many risks, and many physicians are understandably hesitant to prescribe opioids due to possible interactions and the potential for abuse.

Non-Pharmaceutical Alternatives

Fortunately, there are often alternatives available. As reported in a news article by Reuters, researchers recently reviewed the results of several studies, and the findings were encouraging. They found that patients who visited a chiropractor were 64% less likely to use opioids than patients who did not, and published their findings in the journal Pain Medicine.

Although the study did not examine if patients who already use opioids could reduce their use through chiropractic care, the findings still represent an endorsement of chiropractic medicine for pain control. The study director pointed out that the multiple, non-invasive treatment modalities used in chiropractic – such as gentle range of motion techniques, soft tissue release, and spinal adjustments – likely contribute to effective pain control without the use of potentially addictive medications.

Dr. Daniel Cherkin of the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute points out that patients who wish to avoid opioid medications should consider chiropractic care, especially as part of a constellation of other complementary and alternative therapies. Such treatments may include therapeutic massage, physical therapy, acupuncture, and acupressure. With chiropractic therapy, you do not have to worry about drug interactions, addiction, or overdoses. It’s a natural approach to pain relief, control, and recovery.