October 24, 2012 — Responding to the grim news from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that the fungal meningitis outbreak attributed to a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy amounted to 257 cases in 16 states with 20 deaths — and those numbers continue to climb with the possibility that 13,000 patients might have received products from the company — the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a position paper: A Safer Approach to Long-term Relief from Back Pain: Understanding the role of chiropractic care as the first option in providing drug-free, non-invasive effective back pain management.
The paper also points to overuse of cortisone injections, dangers of addiction to prescription drugs such as Methadone, and other opioids for musculoskeletal problems such as back pain and arthritis, as well as mounting evidence that for many patients, surgery is no better at relieving pain than non-invasive care options.
“While Americans continue to battle back pain with sophisticated and expensive drugs, diagnostics, physical therapies, and surgical techniques, they are now re-examining the safety of these high-tech, invasive medical interventions — which are often worse than the disease and don’t seem to be getting individuals any closer to relief than they were decades ago,” says Gerard W. Clum, DC, spokesperson, F4CP. “Chiropractic care is a conservative, evidence-based approach, which includes manual and or instrument spinal care, postural advice, exercise and stretching counsel — along with general lifestyle suggestions and feedback — that holds the potential to help individuals avoid these negative outcomes. It may allow individuals to sidestep many of the pitfalls associated with recovering from — or least managing — back pain, and is fast becoming the first option in providing a drug-free, non-invasive approach.”
- Back pain is pervasive throughout the U.S., with direct costs of treatment more than $50 billion annually. A report by the National Center for Health Statistics found that more than a quarter of adults had low-back pain in the past three months, and it’s the second most common neurological ailment in the U.S., trailing only headaches, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
- Back pain impacts worker productivity and income, and in the workplace, lower back pain comes in second only to upper respiratory conditions as stated cause for loss of work.
- Many patients that suffer from extended episodes of lower back pain require treatment for depression related to it. Primary care doctors continue to prescribe anti-depressants to their chronic low back pain patients, with some studies showing at a rate of about 25 percent.
- Traditional use of prescription drugs, steroid injections and back surgery to relieve back pain are not generating favorable results: they may be doing more harm than good, lead to drug overdoses and, in some instances, could be life-threatening.
- Chiropractic is a safer option: evidence-based, drug-free, non-invasive approach that generates short- and long-term relief and can save our healthcare system billions of dollars.
“While we live in a society where we expect to live pain-free, Americans may now be convinced that there needs to be a safer way to address back pain, with chiropractic care becoming a preferred option,” continues Clum. “Clearly, the use of prescriptions as well as many over-the-counter pain products is not only out-of-control, but is also having deadly consequences. Both physicians and consumers have long underestimated and downplayed the damage caused by these medications and to a large extent, ignored the effects of the life-altering addiction that accompanies their utilization.”
Source: Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, f4cp.org