The ACA's Role in Changing the Pain Management Landscape
Pain management is an inherently important characteristic of chiropractic care. So many different musculoskeletal conditions result in both acute and chronic pain, along with the variety of co-morbidities that occur from chronic conditions such as diabetes. The musculoskeletal system and the various different nervous systems are closely intertwined, and the interactions between these body systems can often result in pain when alignment is not correct.
The American Chiropractic Association acknowledges the role of pain management in chiropractic care and has spoken out regarding the formation of national guidelines for pain management. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, is in the process of forming new recommendations for pain management in the form of what they call National Pain Strategy and in years past, there has been much controversy regarding this strategy.
The American Chiropractic Association has maintained the ideals of chiropractic care and alternative medicine in that the use of pharmaceutical medications should not be incorporated in the process of pain management. Unfortunately, this does not coincide with national attitudes regarding pain management as the presence of pharmaceuticals, namely opioids, is running rampant throughout so many different care pathways for pain management.
Physicians often turn to opioids and other pharmaceuticals in musculoskeletal conditions that occur commonly as well as more acute conditions that require surgery. However, research suggests that these medications can result in ineffective pain management outcomes and increased costs for the patient when the initial pharmaceutical prescription runs out.
In an effort to reduce the use of pharmaceuticals and save patients and medical facilities funds, the American Chiropractic Association has reached out to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke with a body of research and some commentary urging them to incorporate a conservative approach to pain management when drafting the National Pain Strategy. In doing so, the organization is hoping to redefine how medical professionals enact pain management treatment pathways for their patients.