America has a prescription medication problem. Physicians are writing prescriptions at an alarming and unnecessary rate. At the same time, chronic pain is the number one cause of disability and disease burden globally — more than one in five Americans experience chronic pain. 

Unfortunately, many of the medications that are prescribed for pain management can cause further damage to the body and become addictive if misused. Popular medications like oxycodone, hydrocodone, oxymorphone, and more can, in turn, cause a user dependence and eventual tolerance to the drug — meaning chronic pain is still present. 

Chiropractors are well-trained doctors who receive extensive medical training and continue their training throughout their career. They specialize in understanding the body’s relationship with muscles, tendons, ligaments, bones, cartilage and the nervous system. In addition, chiropractors can perform soft tissue therapies, recommend exercises, provide manipulation of the spine or joints, advise nutrition adjustments, and advocate for lifestyle changes. However, chiropractors are not licensed to prescribe medications.

How Chiropractors Treat Pain and Disease

But this restriction aligns with the philosophy of chiropractic care. Compared to your traditional medical doctors, chiropractors are wellness practitioners who take a holistic approach to healthcare. They seek to understand how all bodily systems and parts intertwine with one another, and what natural intervention can be done to help promote healing. 

The body is a highly complex structure with numerous biological responses in place to protect from infection, reduce inflammation, and promote internal healing. Chiropractic care aims to help accelerate these natural healing properties with proper musculoskeletal alignment, diet choice, and lifestyle improvements. 

In 2017, health care providers across the United States wrote more than 191 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication—a rate of 58.7 prescriptions per 100 people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While pain medications are at times unavoidable and necessary, their excessive use is not helping individuals receive long-term healing. Most traditional medical doctors are trained in “emergency room” medicine or acute treatment. This philosophy looks for the fastest way to “put out the fire,” or mitigate the symptoms/pain. 

This type of medical care is critical to our healthcare system, however, it is often not the type of care individuals need. As wellness practitioners, chiropractors look to provide patients with care that ensures “proper regular maintenance” for their bodies. Most chiropractic care can naturally help:

  • Relieve pain
  • Reduce the physical and emotional stress of pain
  • Improve function, stamina, and flexibility 

So as chronic pain continues to be a growing concern to the world’s general health, prescription medication appears to not be the best-defined solution for most cases. Working with a chiropractor, even without their ability to write medication scripts, offers individuals of multiple conditions and ailments a sustainable, natural, and long-term solution to their health concern.