Maybe it’s because of all the scary news surrounding opioid abuse, but a new study shows Americans now seem to be extremely wary of taking any kind of prescription medicine to relieve pain.
A whopping 78 percent of those surveyed in a joint effort by Gallup and Palmer College of Chiropractic said they’d “prefer to try other ways to address their physical pain before they take pain medication.”
What many may not to realize is that even over-the-counter (OTC) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) frequently used to treat mild and moderate pain come with risks. The likes of aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen can trigger adverse effects such as ulcers, bleeding, gastrointestinal problems, and – in rare cases – increased risk of stroke or even kidney damage.
“If over-the-counter medications are used, it should be remembered that just because it’s OTC doesn’t mean it’s completely safe for everyone,” says Velma Wilks, RPh, a practicing registered pharmacist in Lubbock, Texas, who believes people should consider non-pharmacological approaches first.
She’s not alone. In fact, one alternative to both opioids and OTC drugs – drug-free chiropractic care – has grown so popular among those seeking relief from back and neck pain that it’s become something of a movement under the rallying cry of “chiropractic first.”
Highly educated and trained in the structure and function of the human body, doctors of chiropractic use hands-on techniques to help enhance flexibility, muscle strength and range of motion. Most insurance and health plans cover its use.
“One hundred million Americans suffer from chronic pain, and they deserve to know the risks about the OTC medications they’re taking,” says the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’ Sherry McAllister, DC.