- Of the 13,384 subjects studied, only 19 percent of the subjects receiving chiropractic care filled a prescription for opioids, while 35 percent who did not receive chiropractic care filled these prescriptions.
- All categories of prescription charges were significantly lower for recipients of chiropractic services in comparison with non-recipients.
- In 2014, annual charges per person were 78 percent lower for opioid prescriptions and 71 percent lower for clinical services among chiropractic recipients compared with non-recipients.
The Institute of Medicine has recommended the use of non-pharmacologic therapies, including chiropractic care, prior to utilization of pharmacotherapy for patients with chronic pain. In addition, recently published guidelines from the American College of Physicians recommend non-pharmacologic treatment as the first-line approach to treating back pain, with consideration of opioids only as the last treatment option, or if other options present substantial harm to the patient.