October 10, 2018—The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University hosted a multidisciplinary panel discussion on non-opioid care pathways for pain management, including chiropractic care as a key component.
The discussion was part of an evening symposium at the University titled, “Responding to The Opioid Epidemic: Safely Managing Pain Through Evidence-Based Interventions.” The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Executive Vice President, Sherry McAllister, DC, attended the symposium, as did a number of physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, residents, fellows, social workers, public health professionals, students and community stakeholders. Educational sessions were focused on opioid prescription regulations and best medical practices for managing chronic pain.
A panel on “Discussion on Alternative Treatments for Pain” opened the symposium. Panel members included Mariah H. Stump, MD, MPH, an internal medicine physician and assistant professor at the medical school; Kenneth R. Blaker, a strategist and healthcare consultant and Marc K. Siegel, MD, FACP, FOX News medical correspondent and clinical professor of medicine at New York University Langone Health, who moderated the discussion.
Blaker said that while more conservative care, including chiropractic, is slowly integrating into the medical field, primary care physicians are still more likely to prescribe opioids. “This needs to change,” he said. “The needs of patients in pain are urgent and acceptance of safe, effective, drug-free care is still far from medical mainstream.”
Opioids are intrinsically dangerous because they replace pain with pleasure-producing neurochemicals including dopamine.
“Panelists offered an invaluable, evidence-based perspective on how to remedy this public health crisis facing our nation,” said Dr. McAllister. “Anyone who attended the symposium left the event with fresh insight into how chiropractic care can be integrated into a collaborative care pathway focused on more effective pain management without opioids.”
A recent study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded adults receiving chiropractic care for low back pain were 55 percent less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid analgesic in comparison to adults who did not receive chiropractic care.
“It was gratifying to have chiropractic featured in the panel and to see symposium attendees receptive to the need to work together to provide collaborative care,” said Dr. McAllister. “This is another encouraging indicator of progress and shows the medical community’s growing recognition of chiropractic care as an evidence-based intervention for chronic pain, as well as its demonstrated ability to help consumers avoid the dangers of opioids.”