Who reduces opioid use more, doctors of chiropractic or physical therapists?

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The National Institute of Health’s National Library of Medicine compared the use of opioids,  spinal injections and specialty medical care according to whether the patient saw a physical therapist (PT) or a doctor of chiropractic (DC).

Studies show that the type of provider you visit first for a problem will determine your treatment, cost, visits and procedures.

In the medical realm, seeing a medical provider first increases the number of tests including an MRI, medications, which can be opioid or other meds for pain and then physical therapy which is typically protocalled care to the area on the prescription. With regards to back pain, this method of management using both passive and active care regimens resulted in significant increases in the use of spinal injections and medical specialty care. The use of multi specialty management increased the likelihood of an escallation of care events between medical specialties.

Physical therapy use resulted in an 80-90 percent increase of opioid use in 90 percent of PT patients.

On the other hand, authors point out that chiropractors reduced opioid prescriptions by 55% versus other therapies, with an opioid prescription cost reduction of 74%. Chiropractic also reduces opioid prescriptions by 55% versus other therapies, with an opioid prescription cost reduction of 74% in older patients. The chiropractic medicare modernization act will help correct this due to the current limitations placed on chiropractic care since the 1970's.

The authors continue that for back-related conditions, chiropractic care reduced secondary disability by 313% compared to physical therapy. Likewise, chiropractic care helps 96% of patients, including low back pain patients.

To summarize, seeing a chiropractor first for back pain and many other types of spinal pain, reduces overall medication usage, reduces chronicity and improves outcomes at a lower cost than the traditional medical system.

For back pain, spinal pain and many other conditions in the musculoskeletal system, think chiropractic first. Book online today.