National Institutes of Health Report Recommends Alternative Medicine Over Pain Medication

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.—March 24, 2015—Chronic pain is an epidemic that affects an estimated 100 million Americans. Although numerous effective treatments are available, millions of chronic pain sufferers rely on prescription pain medication such as hydrocodone or oxycodone for long-term pain management. While effective for some, many long-term users continue to have moderate to severe pain and diminished quality of life.

A September 2014 report by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) suggests that a broader approach which includes alternative medicine may be more effective. The report stressed the need to use a range of progressive treatment that might initially include non-drug related options, such as physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and/or proven alternative medicine approaches (such as chiropractic), later followed by prescription medication if more needs to be done.

The American Chiropractic Association issued a statement in January encouraging NIH to study all complementary and integrated approaches to chronic pain management, including chiropractic, because they offer a higher degree of patient safety and help to reduce drug use, resulting in fewer side effects.

The NIH panel, made up of experts in the fields of gerontology, rheumatology, internal medicine, psychiatry, addiction medicine, nursing, health education, biostatistics, and epidemiology, concluded that managing chronic pain requires an integrated approach involving more than one specialty, including complementary medicine (such as physical therapy and chiropractic care).

Integrated care may be more difficult to obtain than it would first appear, however. The report identified several barriers including insurance plans that may not cover integrated healthcare approaches. Viable alternatives include private pay healthcare providers such as The Joint Chiropractic, which offers a 'non-insurance' membership model that makes care convenient and affordable. A misalignment of the spine can lead to aches and pains that affect overall health and well-being. The spine protects the nervous system, which controls and coordinates all the different functions of the body. A spinal misalignment can lead to a host of health problems ranging from neck and back pain to gastrointestinal problems and even hyperkyphosis – a condition in which the spine curvature is significantly exaggerated, with increased risk of pulmonary and arterial health problems.

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About The Joint Corp. (NASDAQ: JYNT)

Based in Scottsdale, Ariz., The Joint…the chiropractic place® is reinventing chiropractic care by making quality alternative healthcare affordable for patients seeking pain relief and ongoing wellness. Our membership plans and packages eliminate the need for insurance, and our no-appointment policy, convenient hours and locations make care more accessible. The Joint performs more than one million spinal adjustments a year across 250+ clinics nationwide. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @thejointchiro and find us on Facebook, You Tube and LinkedIn.


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