Doctors of Chiropractic Talking Alternatives to Opioid for Pain Management

Doctors of Chiropractic Talking Alternatives to Opioid for Pain Management

By Ed Coghlan

Expect to be hearing quite a bit this fall from the American Chiropractic Association about the dangers of opioid medication.

During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) in October, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) promises to build on its ongoing efforts to raise awareness of the value of a conservative approach to pain management in the face of what it calls “the U.S. opioid epidemic.”

“Pain is a universal experience, and when it is recurrent, there is an anxiety or anticipatory component that intensifies the experience.  If a doctor uses opiates to relieve that pain temporarily, then does not renew the prescription, patients may experience fear, anger, and feelings of abandonment as well as the pain,” said Robert Hayden, DC, PhD.

The ACA urges both health care providers to pursue all available non-pharmacological pain control measures first.

“Just as surgery should always be a last resort in the resolution of conditions that may ultimately require it, opiates should be a last resort in pain control after all other measures fail,” said Dr. Hayden.

“Chiropractic services are an important first line of defense against pain and, in some cases, can lessen a patient’s reliance on addictive painkillers or prevent their use altogether,” said ACA President David Herd, DC. “It makes sense to exhaust conservative forms of treatment such as chiropractic before moving on to riskier, potentially addictive pain medications.”

Using treatments such as spinal manipulation, chiropractic physicians take a drug-free approach to treating back pain, neck pain and other musculoskeletal disorders. High-quality research has found spinal manipulation to be effective for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.

The ACA noted in its release that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in its 2016 guidelines for prescribing opioids, says that nonpharmacological therapies are preferred for treating chronic pain. In addition, the National Pain Strategy, an initiative by several federal agencies, recognizes chiropractic’s value as a method for pain management.

“Chiropractic is a safe, effective first intervention for musculoskeletal pain.  Chiropractic physicians will assess the cause of pain and treat the cause directly rather than attempt to cover the pain with opiates,” added Dr. Hayden.

The ACA will promote with the theme and hashtag #Chiropractic1st.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic.  ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.


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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Tim Mason

Good questions Erin, ones I would love to see answers too. As you know the chiropractor does not have prescription writing authority and actually function “outside” of mainstream medicine. I too am experiencing the high anxiety you talk about. Waking up with “night pain” or waking up with severe morning pain is something that Nuevo physicians do not understand. How could they? How could they understand the anxiety associated with extreme pain. They cannot. I feel they are basically frustrated trying to treat something that cannot be understood without first had experience.
The older physician, the ones with the gray hair, are the ones that have experienced what we do. They are the ones that understand.
About the only pain a NP or PA can understand is perhaps, Gas pain, muscle cramp or the effects of to much alcohol late at night.

erin margaret

“Pain is a universal experience, and when it is recurrent, there is an anxiety or anticipatory component that intensifies the experience. If a doctor uses opiates to relieve that pain temporarily, then does not renew the prescription, patients may experience fear, anger, and feelings of abandonment as well as the pain,” said Robert Hayden, DC, PhD.

I was actually just thinking about this this morning Ed,
How nearly all of my anxiety around pain- really revolves around the ability to have pain medication when there is a need. The anxiety isn’t about the pain itself- but seeking help for the pain. I was pondering how much the anxiety about seeking help fuels the pain itself.. especially for folks with Medical PTSD. .. and how when I know I have the resources to handle a “flare” on my own.. the added component of anxiety about seeking care significantly diminishes the anguish of the flare itself.

Yes - chiropractic care is great, I have used it since I was 6 years old.. However my spine is still twisted, my leg still short.. my joints spontaneously dislocating - It has helped over the years… but it does not solve the pain of broken bilary ducts.. or the middle of the night jolting pain of TMD. As much as opiods are “harmful” to the body.. I think there should be consideration in regards to what responsible use of opiods for chronic pain in conjunction with other avenues of holistic care…

thank you for all you do Ed 🙂

Steve from MA

It is not encouraging to see doctors disagreeing on the existence of what one might consider to be fundamental anatomical features or not. What is a poor fibro patient in pain to do and who do we trust to know what is actually going on in our bodies and treat it?

If Pubmed is feeding me inept studies based on bad science then I am truly screwed.

Tim Mason

One thing I have learned on the pathway of life is that it takes all kinds of people doing all different kinds of jobs to make our lives complete. This includes every position from garbage men to Brain surgeons. We need all kinds of skill sets, from the person that sells you your underwear at the department store to the people that put satellites in orbit.
I am certain that you, Stephen are good at what you do and you enjoy helping them. I have a physical therapist guy that gives me a clinical massage. It does help parts of my body. Because of weakness on one side, the other side will try and compensate for it. I get that. I buy into that.
But injuries and a life time of hard labor sometimes need a medicine that has been on this rock forever. Also, we often times need the skill of neurosurgeons and proctologists. (You don’t work on those do you?)

Keep up the good work. Dr. Rodrigues.

Stephen Rodrigues, MD

Is it so hard to assert the God-given reality-based fact that the human body is innately and perfectly designed to take care of itself with a few basic daily requirements:
1. Nutritious foods, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements.
2. Work life, spiritual life, fun life, stress life balance.
3. Daily exercise along with physical therapy.
4. A good night’s sleep.

I’m advocating for those simple necessities of the body to assist, ignite and boost natural repair the only healer of diseases.

Is it so hard to assert the God-given reality-based fact that muscles need to be restored with daily PT?
Is it so hard to affirm the God-given reality-based fact that if muscles do not get restored with the proper amount, frequency, intensity, spectrum and doses of physical therapy that they will begin to falter and fail?
Is it so hard to assert the God-given reality-based fact that chronic pain is muscular which will respond to physical therapy?
Is it so hard to affirm the God-given reality-based fact that fibromyalgia is a component of intramuscular disease plus a complex array of mind and mental duress?
Is it so hard to claim the God-given reality-based fact that fibromyalgia can be treated with a personalized set of mind, body, spiritual, and physical therapies?
I would sincerely hope that you can assert these straightforward and God-given reality-based facts of life as to how nature and the human body works.

After 18 yr on the front line, I cannot trust Wolfe because he does not want to assert that PT is the best medicine for FM. I conclude he has ulterior motives other that the Truth.
I would also have to judge his contributions os our healthcare system as the one of the original and continued betrayer of Americans.

Wolfe betrays us all:

This Local Compliance Code (LCD) implemented by Medicare and the Feds: aka as L35010 is the smoking gun put up to the heads of every American, who is living in pain. This code, in essence, is sinister, and a strategically placed barrier between chronic pain suffers and the corrective amounts and quality of PT.

Trigger Points textbook images are “theoretical” pain sites ONLY for educational purposes.

Travell/Simons/Rachlin never conceived that this theory would be fabricated into biological, histological pathological entities. L35010 dictates by DEMAND that a provider has to EXACTLY AND UNEQUIVOALEY documented such “Unicorns” in the office setting before treatments by so-called Trigger Point Injections is a sophisticated dishonest intellectual sabotage.

I have lobbied heavily to remove this barrier but Wolfe et al. are guarding this LCD like their lives depended on it. Novitas Solutions, Inc., a Medicare contractor, gains some reward for keeping it in place despite the science and evidence. Crimes against every American - I call these actions.


John Quintner

I share your sentiments. But some of your readers may be unaware that over the past year or so there has been a worldwide debate over the concept that “myofascial pain” can arise from “trigger points” situated within muscles. Those who wish to follow the arguments for and against this concept will find them aired and fully discussed on the highly-regarded website Body in Mind:

Please keep it civil.
We do appreciate different points of view - and the more someone can self-educate and make an informed decision, the better!
Thanks for your readership and comments.

John Quintner. Consultant Physician in Rheumatology and Pain Medicine (retired)

Fortunately there is a readily available antidote for people in pain who might have been infected by Dr Rodrigues’ blatantly pseudoscientific and oft-repeated comments. It can be accessed at:

Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD

Chiropractors do not need to proof anything!
Let’s start with what does NOT work:
Surgery for back pain does not work because it does not match the pathology of muscular derived pain.
Joint replacement surgeries do not match the pathology of muscular derived pain, so these procedures do not work.
Painkillers do not work because they do not benefit the pathology of muscular derived pain.
Wait and see does not work because it cannot benefit muscular derived pain.

The pathology of pain embedded in muscles are called intramuscular microscars.

Let’s now give a list of WHAT WORKS for daily pain problems:
The only treatment which can benefit these intramuscular microscars is massage, range of motion exercises, spray, and stretch, chiropractic care, myofascial release, dry needling, Gunn-IMS, myofascial acupuncture, Travell.Simons.Rachlin trigger point stimulating type injections, tendon and ligament stimulating type injections, biologic type stimulating injections, prolotherapy, and platelet rich plasma injections.

PT uses the same mechanism of action. PT all stimulate and release the intramuscular microscars so that mother nature can do all the mending. PT works best when you blend them into a single treatment session.

PT treatments need no proof. PT simply work. Besides, you cannot prove laws of nature Truths! Natural Laws exist despite what anyone believes.

The proper question is why is it that they do not work?
They do not work because muscles which do not care the corrective amount of physical therapy will begin to contract, we can, atrophy, dystrophy, dry, and lock up. Imagine filet mignon versus beef jerky.
Beef jerky is technically almost dead muscle tissue. Almost dead muscle tissue cannot heal all by itself.
Once your muscle tissue gets into this state of dystrophy, all the elements of repair are almost dead.
Stem cells, progenitor cells cannot survive in this stale, acidic, toxic, low oxygen level tissues.

I call this final stage of muscle failure, Pain Cancer Hell. i.e., RSD, CRPS, TN, etc
Unfortunately, most of you are very close to the stage of Pain Cancer Hell.
How do you get yourself out of this trap? Help yourself.
I’m 100% confident that no one here can help guide you out of your pain.
I’m almost sure that the folks here are getting in the way of your help.
If you not part of the exact set of solutions, you are part of the problem.


Oh yes I see some of the above statements ” One size fits all.” People need balance with issues on pain.

John Quintner

@ Aaron M. May I remind you of the two unsubstantiated and potentially misleading claims for spinal manipulation being made by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA: (a) that it is “a first line defence against pain”; and (b) that “high quality research has found spinal manipulation to be effective for acute and chronic pain”. All I can suggest to the ACA is this unsolicited advice: “Please bring out your evidence or forever hold your peace”.

Humankind has been using hands-on massage, tissue release, joint and spinal adjustment to relieve pain for centuries. These are science and historical facts.

Wondering why pills and surgery fail to restore you back to normal?
These two (2) options do not fit the science, biology, and evidence. This 2 ideas betray you and are being used as a set-up.

How do I know they are a set-up? Ask a few thousand of my patients.

These are the reasons:
The most common cause of pain is life and living.
This category of pain can only be located in the muscle system.
The only treatment for this pain is physical therapy.
Physical therapy is any treatment that is designed to stimulate muscles back to health. The mechanism of action is simply the natural healing cascade of wound repair.

I know these options work like nature, science, and evidence dictates because I use all of them in my sessions.

The last time I saw a perfectly run and staffed physical medicine and rehab Department was in the 80s. This was when patients received the proper frequency, intensity, doses, levels, spectrums within a session.

All the corrective PT was taken away because it worked too well. Once Patients began to feel better, they would not want surgery!

The hospitals and the surgeons would lose quick and easy cash, so they strategically rigged the system.

The pain that is sourced in the muscular system is infinitely spread out and cannot be touched by medications or knife.
The pain that is sourced in the muscular system if not given the proper doses and frequencies of physical therapy will begin to evolve, atrophy, dry out, contract and squeeze the life out of you. This is how nature works. You cannot stop it. You cannot ignore it. You cannot trick it or betray it. It’s just how it is.

If your treatment didn’t work is because the system has place barriers in the way; cost, convenience, deception, controversy, advertisers, editors, know it alls, schemers, scammers, harmful agents and the Federal Government. The AMA has been setting this us for 60 years; then they were able to give to the Feds in the form or the ACA. Now the AMA conceived scheme, being implemented by your family, friends, and neighbors who make up our Government. So your fellow Americans are now in charge of your destiny. You can thank the few sinister members of the AMA.

Carla Cheshire

In my case I did try all the options as I’m sure most of us “Hard Cases” do. We are not uneducated, or afraid to try all options. When you are truly in great pain you understand this.
The fact that chiropractic didn’t work for most of us is the fact that we are the worst cases, that is who is on this website. We are people who have dealt with chronic pain for 10-15 years+ not someone who walks into the chiropractors office for a muscle problem. I used chiropractic early in my playing career, I was an athlete. It helped when I was stuck. But when you have a herniated disc and spondylolisthesis in my case it was useless to stop the pain. As I stated earlier my chiropractor about sent me through the roof with the electrified acupuncture. Before you insult the intelligence of the folks on the National Pain Report please realize who you are dealing with.

Aaron M

The negative responses to this article are both surprising and suspicious - mostly a rehash of unusual anecdotes and a disconnect from current research and statistics.

Those unfamiliar with spinal manipulation should check out current guidelines (created by medical organizations like the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society and endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons) that recommend chiropractic as one of the few options for both acute and chronic back pain: The Cleveland Clinic recommends it as an early treatment option. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Plan has patients go through a trial of chiropractic care before surgery because the surgery usually becomes unnecessary. All of this is based on the research. The research cited above by John Q actually was as supportive or more for spinal manipulation than other options. So many options show so little benefit when researched that a moderate benefit is like hitting a home run. There is no silver bullet for back pain or other chronic conditions. When you look at opiates and surgery while considering the side effects, they are truly a last resort but too often used before conservative treatments.

There isn’t an opioid epidemic because Americans exhausted conservative treatment options. Most were never recommended or tried these options in the first place. It’s time to move beyond anecdotes and be more research-based.

Tim Mason

I doubt this comment will make it in either but here it goes:
I see Doctors of chiropractic trying to “cash in” on the “anti-opioid”-“chronic pain” fiasco that many are talking about. Many of the treatments are not covered by insurance for a good reason. I am not saying all chiropractors are doing this but many are charlatans.
Look up DRX9000 and scam and you will see what I mean.
I am beginning to believe I am not a chronic pain patient but a person with OA and Lumbar spinal stenosis.
I have never been denied any opioid. I do have empathy for those with a pain causing disease.


Kind of cracks me up. What else would they say. They would much rather people come to them forever. My chiropractic experience is that it did little and cost a lot!

Jeff Poleet

Oh lord, my pseudoscience from this website. How are people with spinal fractures, ruptured discs, etc., supposed to have a “doctor” crank on their spine? It is contraindicated by actual Medical Doctors and I know of any peer reviewed studies that show popping the air in your joints (chiropractic) has any benefit. Of course chiropractors are going to claim their therapy works and that traditional doctors are prescribing too many opiates, that because chiropractors are not actual doctors, and traditional medicine means it is backed by SCIENCE. Alternative medicine is pseudoscience, which is why it is called alternative to begin with.

I think I am about done with this page.

mary eischen

No chiropractor is ever touching me again. They are the reason my Tarlov Ctsts became symptomatic, leaving me with danaged nerves for the rest of my life.

Tim Mason

If you go to a chiropractor and he shows you a DRX9000, beware. They are better than a money printing machine.

“If a doctor uses opiates to relieve that pain temporarily, then does not renew the prescription, patients may experience fear, anger, and feelings of abandonment as well as the pain,” said Robert Hayden, DC, PhD.”
Any person taken under the wing of an authority figure such as a teacher, counselor or any other professional and is then shunned will experience fear, anger and feeling of abandonment. This is not unique to opioids.

Stephen Rodrigues, MD

The most egregious scientific and medical lie of the past 60 years: The best treatments for pain is with painkillers, meds, NSAIDs and removing body parts. These treatments are totally illogical in the millions of cases of aches, pains, stiffnesses and dysfunctions. The evidence for this breach of truth can be reviewed in the archives of medicine. There were three violations in the 60s which ushered in our present day catastrophe; 1. a surgeon treated a headache with craniotomy, 2. a surgeon treated back pain with spinal fusion and 3. a surgeon treated knee pain by removing the knee joint. All 3 of these surgical procedures to treat pain were done out of ignorance, desperation, arrogance and money which allow the auditors to waive common sense and allow the surgical procedures to go forward. These surgical procedures should have never been attempted. Treating typical daily pains problems with a knife is impossible! It is the “standard of care” implemented for-profits at your personal sacrifice and expense. Erroneous “standard of care” which does harm is malpractice and criminal. The most common cause of pain is from life, living, trials, tribulations, contusions, collisions, strains, sprains, and fracture. The most common location of pain is in the muscular system. The exact source of this pain is intramuscular microscars. The exact pathology of this pain is intramuscular microscars. The specific treatments for this pain are under the banner of physical therapy. In the 60s, there were a group of physicians and scientists who designed solutions which counter and eradicates the pathology of pain in the human body. They solved the problems of long-term pain. These solutions were perfected in the 1960s, thanks to David G. Simons, MD a pioneer in myofascial pain and trigger points and aerospace physician: “Muscle is an orphan organ. No medical specialty claims it. As a consequence, no medical specialty is concerned with promoting funded research into the muscular causes of pain, and medical students and physical therapists rarely receive adequate primary training in how to recognize and treat myofascial trigger points.” Any complaint of experiencing “pain in the body” is most commonly and primarily sourced from the muscular system and thus mandate receiving treatments with the various modalities of physical therapy. Historically, the treatments for soft, connective and muscle tissue pain, dysfunction and diseases were done by physical therapy providers (PT). PT falls into two broad categories, hands­-off, and hand­-on options. These two options although they are called PT, have diverse mechanisms of action, which are scientifically different. The MoAs are so crucially different that they are not interchangeable, thus using hands­off for hands­on will do harm to the patient. Thus choosing the correct PT option is vital to a successful patient’s treatment plan of action. Hands­-on PT options are in a very broad spectrum from massage, kneading, stretching, Chiropractic services, spinal adjustments, tendon, ligament and intramuscular stimulating needling. The treatments for muscle derive pain and dysfunctions are a derivation the broad spectrum of hands-on physical therapy options; massage,… Read more »

Carla Cheshire

Maureen, I totally agree. We are the hard cases, many chronic pain patients have gone through chiropractic care in trying to alleviate our pain and although it may help some it did not work for me. I even tried acupuncture by a chiropractor and it was one of the most painful, horrible experiences I’ve had. The man inserted the needles and ran electric current through them! I had no idea he was doing this as I was lying face down. I found out later that the chiropractic training is something like 8 hours in acupuncture. I did have a later acupuncture treatment from a reputable care giver and it was painless but alas. . . was unable to stop my back pain.

Sara B

IMHO chiropractors are little more than snake oil salesmen who cost us a lot of money, especially when it comes to neurological pain. But nothing would make me happier than to find an alternative, affordable treatment that works. The chiro success stories are few, but I’m happy for those who have found chiro helpful. But I have heard of many migraineurs having negative outcomes from chiropractors. At best, the treatment feels good for about ten minutes. I visited one who really is a better nutritionist than chiro (and a very smart, compassionate man), but again, spent probably $1,000 (when I could work full-time) on treatments, vitamins and herbs that didn’t help my pain one bit. In the end, I greatly prefer massage over chiro, but can’t afford it anymore either. I’d rather pay a massage therapist who makes me feel relaxed and blissful for an hour, with effects that last maybe a few days. Just the touch alone is so so so therapeutic for someone like me, who lost my long-term relationship and is now feeling pretty isolated and very depressed. As an aside, I gave acupuncture a very serious and expensive trial as well, working with a wonderful man who I knew growing up. He was determined to help me and gave me discounts so that I could try it for nine months solid. I love acupuncture, so so so relaxing, but no affect on my pain. Again I could only afford this when I was working full-time. It was heartbreaking for both of us when it didn’t work.

It’s time for insurance to either cover alternative therapies so that we can give these a serious trial to alleviate our pain and/or for the gov’t and everyone else to accept that these alternatives are only available for wealthy pain patients and leave the rest of us to do what we can with our limited resources. After all, generic opioids are the most proven, cost effective treatment available, hands down. Until there is a true proven alternative, we need them to remain an option for those of us who have tried everything else or can’t afford anything else. I know, preaching to the choir here…. 🙂

Mark Ibsen MD

I hired s chiropractor to take X-rays and perform urgent manipulations on patients.
It started out great, but when she developed chronic pain herself, she took on a virulent anti- opiate stance, ridiculing patients as drug seekers.
When I fired her as an employee, and offered her an ongoing option to continue to build her own practice, she retaliated with a complaint against me to my medical board, claiming I was “over prescribing narcotics”.
7 of the 9 patients were weaned from opiates, yet the vendetta has gone on 3 1/2 years.
I’m still in favor of chiropractic care for acute back pain.
Most chiropractors won’t even touch kind of patients fall through the cracks with four failed back surgeries, hardware, and high opiate use.
Depriving people of the care that works for them is one of the biggest problems in our system today

Jean Price

I’m always amazed to think others may not realize we’ve tried this…and multiple other therapies over time!! I doubt there is one person who comments here who has ONLY used medication to treat their pain! And this is like reinventing the wheel…throwing out “alternatives” to opioids! Don’t people realize that we already use whatever takes an edge off…including opioids…and try to get our pain down to livable levels with a multi-therapy approach?! I don’t think these people understand that opioids aren’t about getting rid of the pain entirely! To do that, we wouldn’t lead very functional lives, and that’s our main goal! It’s about having opioids to ALLOW us to pursue the other modalities for pain relief!! To use as little medication as possible to still function and ALSO use a variety of other therapies at the same time! THEY MUST REALLY THINK ALL WE WANT ARE DRUGS!! That’s the direct opposite of the reality of our lives! How did they get so confused? Oh, I know…they never asked us for insight! Or allowed us to be on committees! They just devised a plan in a vacuum and we’re supposed to fit it! And pay for it! How silly.


I do not trust chiropractors.
The first one I met with said that aligning my hips would make my pain lessen. He did nothing diagnostic. This made the pain worse because it pulled on the entrapped nerve. I left.
The next one I met told me that he could “massage that scar tissue away.” I asked how he was planning to reach it, and pointed out to him that it’s between bone and my reproductive organs, so it’s not accessible. He then said he doubted it was even there in the first place. I pointed out that a 3T MRI found it, and I don’t think it was wrong. He then accused me of “not wanting to get better,” and said that unless I had “full faith” in him and let him do what he thinks is best to me I would never improve. He said I would only feel better once I believed he could make me better. I walked out.
And recently I saw a friend post pictures of bringing her 4-month-old grandson to get “adjusted.” What the heck does a baby that can’t even sit up yet have wrong that they need “adjusting”?! To me that’s an unethical doctor who was BSing them to get money out of them.
Add to this that people have died after getting “adjusted,” and that the benefits of it are the same as getting a massage, I’ll take the massage.

BJ Lawson

I wish the people who feel chiropractic is the way to go would look at the statistics for the number of patient injuries CAUSED by a chiropractor compared to severity of injury from the injury itself.
Years ago my landlord was a chiropractor & we became friends. He told me the truth about how little they were taught beyond spinal manipulation when he became aware I was in the process of getting my Doctorate. He even gave me a copy of the current cirriculum from his school, which is the 2nd oldest colloge of Chiropractic in the country. I was aghast at the LACK of medical training they give.
My recommendation is to see a physician with a D.O. degree. They take the same state boards as an MD, but have 6 months of training in Osteopathic Spinal Manipulation, so they are able to determine if any other physical problem may be present PRIOR to adjusting the spine, since there is always a possibility of nerve damage when not fully checked out by a real physician before hand! There is a reason why insurance companies aren’t good at reimbursing for chiro visits.
Another advantage to seeing a D.O. is their philosophy involves the connection between body, mind, & spirit, & alway start by going through the noninvasive, non narcotic means of treatment & work upwards-only prescribing narcs for chronic pain when it responds to nothing else, or if another treatment only provides partial relief.
So they have been practicing exactly what is being suggested by the FDA since 1900. Which is why I have no idea why they think new rules are needed. They are redundant to the D.O., maybe filling in the M.D.’s might be an idea. They tend to “cut on it, or drug it.”

Katie Olmstead

I certainly agree with Toni and Maureen. This goes for all kinds of care that isn’t covered by insurance, like acupuncture. If the medical world sees these as valuable in pain management, which they are, why aren’t they covered?
I also agree with Maureen. While I do know some people with long term chronic pain who are helped by chiropractic help, there are many of us for whom it only makes things worse. I have CRPS. My back can’t be touched without causing major increase in pain. The last chiro whom I spoke to for a consult said he wouldn’t touch my back. He backed away from me. Literally. I, like many, have very few viable options. One of them is long term (probably forever) narcotics.


Because so many doctors prescribe opioids for common back pain. Give me a break do people seriously believe that? Do they seriously believe pain patients haven’t exhausted every avenue in an effort to feel better? This claim by the chiros of offering to help is garbage, it’s hoping insurers pay for more continued chiropractic care and the government helps that along as long as they keep up the governments narrative


Then perhaps they should cover this and other alternative medicines with our insurance. Covering only a couple of treatments when these are needed over and over again does not help people in pain who do not have a big wallet.


I can surely appreciate this article and the art of Chiropractics. It is an wonderful practice.
BUT… once again this is not geared toward the ‘average, well seasoned chronic pain person who has been through it all and the end result of all of our years of treatments is…that we are best with opiates/other meds for treatment/maintenance.
Whether we like it or not.
We are NOT Chiro. appropriate.
If only I could go back in time. If only insurance companies covered long term Chiro care.
In my opinion…it (particularly manipulation treatment) is more so for those who have a new injury/pain issues etc.
Most of us chronic pain folks are damaged for life.
Chiro cannot help us, and perhaps hurt us even more.
Those of us who are way down the road with living in chronic pain (and are truly the ones being effected by the witchhunt against us) and well, a lot of us have already been to the chiropractor in the past.
Those of us with structural problems, nerve damage, spinal fusions etc cannot be manipulated. Been there, tried that a few times over the years. It made me worse every time.
I even tried it again just last year when I was frantically searching for the ‘right’ help when I moved to Florida and had to deal with the pain management doctors here who were making me worse by changing my meds.
It didn’t work out as I had desperately hoped it would.
I do believe in Chiropractics, it’s just not for folks like me.

Kathy C

This “Epidemic” has been a Marketing extravaganza for Chiropractors. In my town, they are Advertising Pain cures. Like everything else there is no way to tell how effective they are. There can be a significant amount of difference in their practices. I was one of those believers, until after many “Adjustments as prescribed by a Chiropractor, I had an MRI. I realized that the excruciating pain I was dealing with was a Ruptured Disc. This MRI was a couple of days after my last adjustment. At that time my leg was nearly completely useless due to the nerve compression. That Chiropractor had ignored this, and possibly contributed to it. He was very happy to take my money, while also trying to sell me Nutritional supplements, expensive show lifts and other gadgets. I was so desperate I bought 300.00 Shoe lifts from him. He claimed that was my problem. The problem was a ruptured disc in my lumbar spine, the disc material was compressing the nerves in my Leg, I could barely walk. He apparently did not think that was a problem. I have no way of knowing if these adjustments contributed to this.
There are some good Chiropractors that did help in the years leading up to my spinal collapse and Pain Journey. I had believed in them since i was adjusted after a sledding accident as a teen. One well placed “chop” on the side of my neck led to instant relief. While many of them are helpful for certain issues, and they ones I have returned to relieve tension, they have been unable to do much for my pain problems.
People should be careful, Chiropractors have no incentive to tell a patient if there is a bigger problem. There is no effective way of evaluating them. I have a friend who was desperate, and spent so much money trying to get relief from a Chiropractor. She is Senior, and her conventional Physician had ignored her back pain. She was later diagnosed with kidney cancer, which was the reason for the pain. There are just too many people who have stories like this, yet we will never hear about them. These are the things the Medical Industry should have been keeping track of. The problem is that this kind of information was not good for the bottom line.

I have spent thousands on Chiropractors for many years, they did help.

Tim Mason

” If a doctor uses opiates to relieve that pain temporarily, then does not renew the prescription, patients may experience fear, anger, and feelings of abandonment as well as the pain,” said Robert Hayden, DC, PhD”
If a physician, attorney, professor or any other professional agrees to help his patient, client or student and then reneges on the agreement, you are right there will be fear, anger and feelings of abandonment. The fact that you say “opioid” not being renewed causes this is ridiculous. It indicates to me that you have never been a sufferer of prolonged pain yourself.
As far as chiropractic treatments, they have limited use for those that suffer from end stage disease processes.
Treating chronic disease patients is better left to those in main stream medicine.
If a practice ever shows you a DR9000 and asks you to get in it…beware.

John Quintner

“High-quality research has found spinal manipulation to be effective for acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.” It would be helpful if the American Chiropractic Association supplied the appropriate references to outcome studies supporting this assertion. The most review of the evidence by Chou et al. [2016] did not come to the same conclusion in relation to the treatment of patients with low back pain.

Reference: Chou R, Deyo R, Friedly J, et al. Noninvasive treatments for low back pain. AHRQ Comparative Effectiveness Reviews 2016 February. Report No: 16-EHC004-EF

Drew P.

I’ve seen chiropractic Dr’s. My biggest gripe is they claim most diseases/ conditions can be helped by spinal manipulation and many seem to be quick to bad mouth traditional Dr’s. I think they are fine for certain problems and one that issue is resolved - my visits end. I don’t buy into the ongoing adjustments that they are so quick to recommend because they seem only to want to max out my allowable visits for insurance purposes.