Study: Chiropractic Care May Lessen Drug Use

Dartmouth-Hitchcock primary care physician Dr. Louis Kazal, left, and D-H chiropractor Justin Goehl, second from left, step into the lobby of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heater Road clinic for a news conference after meeting with David Mara, N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu’s advisor on addiction and behavioral health, second from right, in Lebanon, N.H., Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Kazal and Goehl were part of a study in collaboration with Southern California University Health Sciences that showed patients receiving chiropractic care for non-cancer related back pain were less likely to use prescription opioid pain killers. At right is Dr. Mark Stagnone, president of the N.H. Chiropractic Association, and third from right is Dr. James Whedon, lead author of the study. (Valley News – James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. Reprinted with permission.

Valley News Staff Writer

Tuesday, June 26, 2018 (Valley News)

Lebanon — Researchers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Geisel School of Medicine are highlighting a study that found that New Hampshire patients who received chiropractic care for lower back pain are significantly less likely to fill a prescription for an opioid than patients who didn’t see a chiropractor.

As a result, the Dartmouth researchers, among others, are pushing for expanding insurance coverage for chiropractic care.

The findings, which were published earlier this year in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, further bolster guidelines from groups such as the American College of Physicians, which suggest that physicians should first treat patients suffering from lower back pain with therapies such as spinal manipulation, a common chiropractic treatment, before prescribing opioids.

Expanding access to such therapies — which are not always covered by health insurance — was the subject of a discussion some of the researchers had on Tuesday with David Mara, who serves as New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s adviser on addiction and behavioral health, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heater Road.

“I believe it’s all about access and if there are other options to pain medication it should be available to citizens of New Hampshire,” Mara said to reporters following the meeting.

He noted that some patients in New Hampshire have health insurance that covers chiropractic care, while others do not.

“We’re trying to do anything we can to stop more people from suffering from addiction,” Mara said.

Changing the way providers treat lower back pain has the potential to make a difference in overall opioid use, given that 59 percent of U.S. adults prescribed opioids reported having back pain, according to a 2008 study in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management. (more…)

Dartmouth Study Promotes New Direction in Opioid Crisis

The United States is in the midst of the worst addiction epidemic in history and New Hampshire has become its poster child. The statistics are startling with nearly 64,000 lives lost to overdoses in 2016, a greater loss of life than the entire Vietnam War. As attention is focused on finding a solution to this crisis, the finger of blame has been pointed firmly in the direction of the pharmaceutical industry and a medical community encouraged for over a decade to generously prescribe some of the most addictive substances known to man. The CDC estimates that up to 80% of heroin addicts developed their addiction through the legitimate use of opioid medications.

As scientists and policymakers around the country have struggled to come up with strategies for this societal catastrophe, new research out of Dartmouth College lends support to treatment options endorsed by nearly every major health agency in the country. Upon reconsideration of the treatment of pain, the CDC, Joint Commission, FDA, Institute of Medicine, American College of Physicians and the Canadian government have all adopted new standards calling for non-pharmacologic methods as a “first-line” approach. Last month, The Lancet, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, called for non-drug therapies first in its comprehensive study on lower back pain. (more…)

West Virginia Governor Sees Chiropractic as a Safe Treatment Option for Opioids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Mr. Chad Robinson
WVCS Executive Director
PH: 304.345.9219

Chiropractic: A Safe Treatment Option for Opioids

Charleston, WV, April 10, 2018 – On March 27, 2018 – West Virginia Governor Jim Justice signed Senate Bill 273, “Reducing Use of Certain Prescription Drugs” into law effective June 7, 2018. The purpose of Senate Bill 273 is to reduce the overuse of prescriptions of opioids and create a method to provide alternative treatment plans rather than prescribing. Senate Bill 273 benefits the Chiropractic profession in West Virginia and provides for Doctors of Chiropractic to treat pain while decreasing the amount of prescriptions in our state. (more…)

Association Between Chiropractic Treatment and Decreased Opioid Prescription

J Altern Complement Med. 2018 Feb 22. doi: 10.1089/acm.2017.0131. [Epub ahead of print]
Association Between Utilization of Chiropractic Services for Treatment of Low-Back Pain and Use of Prescription Opioids.
Whedon JM1, Toler AWJ1, Goehl JM2, Kazal LA2.
Author information
Pain relief resulting from services delivered by doctors of chiropractic may allow patients to use lower or less frequent doses of opioids, leading to reduced risk of adverse effects. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the association between utilization of chiropractic services and the use of prescription opioid medications. (more…)