Straight Spine Safe Spine Newsletter — Pain Management Versus Spine Care?


As I started to put together our new Straight Spine Safe Spine Newsletter I have noticed that one of the main topics in the news these days is the use of narcotics by physicians for pain management, and the subsequent drug addiction and overdoses created by it.

The Opioid Epidemic

As of 2011, 75 percent of the world’s narcotic prescription drugs are prescribed and swallowed up in a country that makes up less than 5 percent of the world’s population, leading to the most common cause of preventable death in America today. Millions of Americans are addicted to narcotics and in 2013 alone narcotics were involved in 37 percent of all drug overdoses. In 2017, approximately 72,300 people died from opioid overdoses – an all-time record. Starting in the 1990’s there has been a dramatic increase in the use of narcotic painkillers by physicians to treat non-cancerous medical conditions like low-back pain, sciatica and various musculoskeletal problems. There is almost no evidence that narcotics are safe or effective for the long-term management of non-cancerous pain even though they are very effective for the relief of short-term pain. Patients actually increase their sensitivity to pain the longer they are on narcotics. So now all of a sudden the medical community, which created the current narcotic epidemic with their use of long term narcotics, is now trying to figure out how to control non-cancerous pain like low-back pain and sciatic pain without the use of narcotics. One of the leading experts in pain management now says “that physicians need to create unique treatment options to effectively treat chronic pain”. These so called experts are still missing the boat. What you have to do is eliminate the pain BEFORE it becomes chronic! If you eliminate the pain there will be no need for narcotics.

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