Research recently published in the Journal of Internal Medicine found that interdisciplinary care of patients in a pain management program reduced the necessity and prescription of opioid mediations. Opioid medication prescriptions have skyrocketed over the last decade. This has occurred in spite of the evidence, and best practice guidelines, which caution against the prescription of opioid medications (especially when prescribed for musculoskeletal conditions). Studies show that opioid medications result in the death of thousands of individuals per year.
The VA Hospital system outlined a program where interdisciplinary care was used in an attempt to divert patients from the use, and doctors from the prescription, of opioids. Over the course of four years this study found a decrease in the number of patients who were prescribed opioid medications when offered the option for interdisciplinary care. Physical therapy, and chiropractic care, and topical analgesics were the foundational components of the alternative, interdisciplinary model.
The inclusion of chiropractic care as an evidence-based choice in the pain management of our nations veterans is a large step forward for our profession. Additionally, studies like this continue to build the depth and breadth of the research which supports and encourages the use of chiropractic care.
See the study on PUBMED here.