I recently watched an interview on The National with Dr. Gregory Taylor, Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer. Dr. Taylor was addressing the opioid crisis in Canada. The large number of recent deaths associated with opioid overdoses is bringing critical awareness to the addictive nature of these drugs.
Although Fentanyl is the culprit for many of these overdose deaths, this crisis highlights the addictive nature of commonly prescribed opioid drugs such as Demerol, Percocet, Hydromorphone, Hydrocodone, Vicodin, and Codeine, and how these prescriptions may create a slippery slope toward addiction.
Opioid drugs are often prescribed to treat chronic pain, particularly spinal pain and lower back pain. Dr. Taylor’s main message was this—instead of prescribing opioid drugs for pain conditions, maybe it’s time to consider less addictive treatments like chiropractic, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. He outlined that there is considerable research showing that Chiropractic is a safe and effective way to treat low back pain, and that he himself has experienced personal success with chiropractic care.
Chiropractors play a strong role in offering treatment for low back and spinal pain that can prevent patients from being prescribed opioids in the first place, thereby helping them avoid the downward spiral that can result once they become addicted to these drugs.
We chiropractors witness the healing benefits of chiropractic every day in practice, and I am happy to see a health minister acknowledging the tremendous evidence in existence proving that chiropractic care is an effective solution to spinal pain.
Dr. Elliot Lysyk, DC