Chiropractic a Preferred Alternative to Risky Opioids
By Sara Butler
Opioids have claimed the lives of far too many people. I can’t help but have disdain for the substance that took away Tom Petty last year and Prince the year before that. According to the National Institute of Drug abuse, opioids killed almost 30,000 people in 2017 -- and that number is four times higher than it was just 15 years ago. To say that prescription opioids, and its street cousin heroin, are a problem today would be an understatement. And it’s not simply something plaguing the rich and famous, but your neighbor, your sibling, and even your teacher. It can impact anyone, anywhere -- it’s a national emergency and that’s why the chiropractors at The Joint want to help give you an alternative to opioids for pain control.
In the Beginning
There’s this idea that drug abuse and addiction only impacts the lives of some people, but anyone can become addicted. In fact, anyone who takes opioids, even if prescribed by a doctor, is at risk. There are factors that play a role, such as your personal medical history and how long you’ve used opioid pain relievers, but no one can predict who will become addicted and who won’t.
Why Opioids are an Issue
What is it about opioids that makes them so addictive? Remember that old commercial with the egg in the frying pan, “This is your brain on drugs”? It wasn’t wrong because addiction is something dictated by your central nervous system, specifically your brain.
Opioids trigger a release of feel-good hormones in your brain called endorphins. These hormones make you feel good and dull your body’s perception of pain. When the drugs wear off, it can be tempting to try to regain that sense of pleasure and well-being as soon as possible. So begins the cycle of addiction.
If you take opioids repeatedly over a long period, your body will build a tolerance. That means it will need more of the drug to produce the same effects -- and that can lead to the risk of overdose.
How Opioids Kill
We’ve established that opioids impact how your brain functions, but one of the most dangerous things about them is the part of your brain they affect -- the part that helps regulate your breathing. If you take too many opioids, then it can cause death through respiratory depression. If you combine opioids with alcohol or other drugs, this can be a cocktail that kills.
How Chiropractic Can Help
The National Institutes of Health found that chronic pain impacts the lives of more Americans than cancer, heart disease, and diabetes combined. Pain is the leading cause of disability along with the most common reason people seek medical care.
Chiropractors have a big role to play in helping people to find natural, drug-free treatments to help them manage pain. According to the Tennessee Chiropractic Association, a study found that chiropractic care for back pain helped to lower opioid use by 55 percent. Chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy approaches, and even massage can help those experiencing pain. Plus, chiropractors at The Joint don’t simply seek to treat your symptoms, including pain, but to find the underlying cause of it and treat that -- it’s a long-term solution to help improve your overall health and quality of life.
As awesome as Prince and Tom Petty were, no one wants to be a part of the staggering statistics of opioid abuse in America today. If you or someone you know is dealing with chronic pain, it’s encouraged you first seek conservative care, such as chiropractic. Come into The Joint Chiropractic to get started today!
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