Pain Medicine published an insightful study on the "Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain" today. The study explored whether "utilization of nonpharmacological pain management may prevent unnecessary use of opioids."
The results of the study? According to investigators, "The total number of subjects was 101,221. Overall, between 1.55 and 2.03 times more nonrecipients filled an opioid prescription, as compared with recipients (in Connecticut: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11–2.17, P = 0.010; in New Hampshire: HR = 2.03, 95% CI = 1.92–2.14, P < 0.0001). Similar differences were observed for the acute groups.
And their conclusions? "Patients with spinal pain who saw a chiropractor had half the risk of filling an opioid prescription. Among those who saw a chiropractor within 30 days of diagnosis, the reduction in risk was greater as compared with those with their first visit after the acute phase."