Chiropractic and Acupuncture: The Answer to the Opioid Crisis?

When we think of medical procedures powerful enough to overcome chronic pain, we tend to think of surgeries to correct nerve damage or heavy duty painkillers. Very few people instantly conjure an image of a chiropractor or acupuncturist, standing by to take your pain away.

Both chiropractic and acupuncture have been getting increasing attention lately however, because their powerful healing properties may be the secret to coping with the opioid crisis currently sweeping through the country. Instead of reaching for a pill to cover up the agonizing pain, these procedures focus on removing the reason for the pain in the first place.

Medical provider's hands wearing gloves adjusting an acupuncture needle in a patient's lower back.

Chiropractic is the adjustment of your body to improve disorders of the musculoskeletal system, and also of the nervous system. By improving how you move your body, chiropractic can help with a range of conditions from back and neck pain, to headaches. Chiropractic can be more effective than pain killers, because it helps the problem right at its source instead of simply covering it up.

Acupuncture: No Longer Pseudo-Science

Acupuncture has recently moved from what many dismissed as a pseudoscience, into a form of medical help that insurance will even cover. Acupuncture can help treat conditions ranging from substance abuse and weight loss, to GI problems and asthma. It is recommended as one of the methods of treatment to try in patients before drugs by the American College of Physicians (2) and has been proven in a large scale meta-analysis of over 18,000 different patients to be effective in controlling pain.

During acupuncture, small needles are placed under the skin to help stimulate various parts of the body. Acupuncture was created thousands of years ago, and the ancient Chinese who created it believed they were manipulating the body’s Qi to help remove or manipulate disease.

Western scientists tend to dismiss this idea, and theorize that it works through hormones released by the brain in response to nerves being stimulated. Other theories include that it works higher up the chain, directly influencing glands responsible for releasing hormones to release more than they ordinarily would. More studies need to be done for certain to explain why it works, but the fact that it does work has been proven without a doubt.

Acupuncture works very well on its own, but it is frequently used in combination with other treatments to maximize its effects. Beyond simply pain relief, it has been found helpful in over 40 different conditions, and has even been used to help enhance the effects of fertility drugs.

In areas where the opioid epidemic is at its fiercest, Medicare and Medicaid have embraced both Chiropractic and Acupuncture in the hopes that they will reduce deaths caused by painkiller abuse. Chiropractic clinics are allowed to use acupuncture in their facilities, making acupuncture much more accessible than it once was. Even if you don’t fear the effects of a powerful painkiller, using these methods of pain control are well worth being your first defense against pain. The results often last longer, and there are no side effects.

To learn more about how chiropractic care and acupuncture can benefit you, visit All Health Chiropractic today. Let us restore your health!



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