Is Chiropractic Care an Alternative to Fentanyl?
By Donna Stark
Thousands of people across the United States suffer from a variety of chronic pain issues each year, and unfortunately, these issues can cause more problems than just pain. They add significant costs to our healthcare system, are among the top reasons for missed workdays, and erode the quality of life for those who are affected.
In some cases, it is believed that the use of opioid medication is the only recourse for those who are suffering from pain, but is that really true? What are the dangers of opioid use, specifically fentanyl, and is there a safer, healthier, and less expensive alternative to treat these painful conditions?
Let’s take a closer look at the different approaches to pain management and whether chiropractic can be a viable alternative.
Fentanyl Use for Pain Management
Fentanyl is in a class of drugs called opioids. Prescription opioids are very strong medications that doctors prescribe to help their patients alleviate and manage both acute and chronic pain issues. Opioids can be used in many ways. For instance, a doctor may prescribe them after a patient sustains an injury or as part of a post-surgical treatment plan, or they may be recommended for patients dealing with chronic pain issues brought on by certain health conditions, previous trauma, or poor lifestyle habits.
The benefit of these medications is that they can provide plenty of pain relief, but the unfortunate thing about them is that they don’t cure or resolve the underlying issue that is the cause of the pain. In fact, they may end up causing more problems than what a patient begins with, and some of those problems could have deadly consequences.
Risks Associated With the Opioid Crisis
Every type of opioid, including fentanyl, carries a list of side effects with it, but more problematic to the patients to whom they are prescribed is the accompanying risk of addiction. Opioids are especially dangerous because it doesn’t take long for the brain and body to develop a tolerance to them. In other words, the body starts needing larger and larger doses to achieve the same initial effect of relief. This can wreak havoc on a patient’s overall well-being because the more medication patients require and start to use, the less control they have over their health and well-being.
This cycle of opioid abuse can impact a person’s life at home, work, and school, as well as interfere with their personal, professional, and social relationships. The worst part about opioid use is that it can also cause additional and significantly worse health challenges, and may even lead to opioid overdoses and death. This is why first responders are now required to carry a medication that counteracts the toxic effect of these drugs, and is also why patients who take these types of pain medication must be under a doctor’s strict supervision.
Make no mistake: opioids are dangerous, and so is fentanyl; according to the Centers for Disease Control, the estimated number of overdose deaths from opioids numbered 107,622 in 2021, with 80,816 of them from synthetic opioids -- primarily fentanyl.
Important Questions to Ask
Before anyone decides to start using opioid medications, they should take the time to discuss the pros and cons with their healthcare provider. Open communication between the patient and doctor is critical for this treatment and necessary to minimize risk. Here are just a few of the questions that should be presented to any doctor who is ready to prescribe this type of medication, and if the doctor doesn’t have an answer for them, it would be wise to consider getting a second opinion.
- Is this medication necessary?
- Is a lower dose an option?
- What are the side effects of this drug?
- Does it interact with my other medications?
- How long will I be required to take this medication?
- What are the protocols I must follow to stop taking it?
- What if there’s a history of substance use in my family?
It’s undeniable that opioids can bring relief to many different pain issues, but one should not overlook the life-altering consequences that can result from taking them. The opioid epidemic has destroyed millions of lives and livelihoods. For that reason, people are starting to look elsewhere for help with pain relief.
Chiropractic Care for Pain Management and Relief
Luckily, opioids aren’t the only option we have to manage and treat pain. The more conservative approach of chiropractic care has been shown to be just as effective in many cases, and healthcare professionals around the world are starting to take notice. Evidence supports that chiropractic care reduces opioid usage by alleviating many of the same musculoskeletal pains without the use of prescription drugs or invasive procedures. This is important because that means pain relief and pain management can be safer and healthier for people of all ages.
How Does Chiropractic Care Help?
The foundation of care that the chiropractic approach is based on focuses squarely on restoring the overall function and health of your body. Because of that, chiropractic care has proven itself to be a game-changer when it comes to pain relief and the use of opioid medications. By targeting the root cause of the pain issue with gentle, effective, and precise adjustments, the body is placed in a much better position to heal itself naturally. Here are just a few of the benefits you may receive after establishing routine chiropractic care in your life.
- Treatment plan - The detailed treatment plan your chiropractor creates will help you manage your pain better
- Pain relief - Routine chiropractic care helps to alleviate pain and deliver much-needed relief by correcting alignment issues, soothing irritated nerves, and easing muscle tension in the body
- Physical activity - The adjustments you receive help to improve flexibility, range of motion, and mobility
- Better health - Chiropractic care aims to restore optimal function to the body’s major systems, which can have a positive impact on your overall health and wellness
- Speedy healing - Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to improve blood flow, a vital part of the healing process
- Muscle and joint function - Inflammation and swelling may also be reduced with regular chiropractic adjustments, and that can improve muscle and joint function
- Independence - With less pain, increased mobility, and improved health and wellness, you may not need to rely on others for help anymore
It’s easy to see how the effect of chiropractic care can change your life for the better. And when combined with routine physical therapy, daily exercise, adequate sleep, and a well-balanced diet, it’s even easier to see that there really is no room for narcotics in your life.
Make the Right Choice for Yourself
To be fair, the value of prescribed medications like fentanyl shouldn’t be questioned. There is a time and place for all of them, but that doesn’t mean their use is warranted for every pain issue that comes into our lives -- and they should never be used “recreationally.” It’s important to remember that opioids will only provide short-term relief, and will never resolve the underlying source of the problem. Furthermore, they have spawned one of the worst healthcare crises this country has ever seen. However, the opposite can be said for chiropractic care.
Learn More at The Joint Chiropractic
The chiropractic approach is an effective treatment option that is much safer than the traditional methods of pain relief which rely heavily on prescription opioids. Your doctor of chiropractic will guide you through the healing process with a treatment plan that is customized to your age, physical condition, specific challenges, and personal goals. Unlike a bottle of pills that can be prescribed to anyone, the treatment plan you receive at The Joint Chiropractic is created specifically for you and your body, so you can rest assured knowing that true healing will begin immediately after your first adjustment.
It's Time to Change Course
The evidence that supports the safety and efficacy of chiropractic care over prescription opioids is so strong, doctors across the world are changing course, and you should too. If you are looking for an all-natural treatment plan and long-lasting results, be sure to visit The Joint Chiropractic today to learn more about the chiropractic approach and how it can alleviate pain, improve your health and wellness, and enhance the overall quality of life.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of chiropractic care, exercise and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your chiropractor, physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.