(NewsUSA) - The move for a "chiropractic first" approach to treating pain just got a big boost.
In recent years, a growing number of experts have argued that the downsides of relying on drugs and invasive spinal surgery were potentially so great in certain cases -- particularly among patients with chronic back pain -- that a proven alternative like chiropractic care should officially be recognized as a serious option. Now comes word that the influential Joint Commission has done just that.
Following what it called "an extensive literature review," the not-for-profit organization, which accredits and certifies more than 20,500 health organizations and programs in the U.S., announced that it was revising its "Provision of Care, Treatment, and Services" standard to "affirm" the role of nonpharmacologic approaches including chiropractic care in pain management.
"In addition," the commission warned regarding the use of medications, "organizations should consider both the benefits to the patient as well as the risks of dependency, addiction and the abuse of opioids."
Nearly 80 percent of Americans are believed to experience back pain at some point in their lives. Past studies have shown that patients who turned to a chiropractor first had consistently better health outcomes and drastically reduced their odds of having to undergo costly surgery.
"As a nation, we are facing an epidemic of prescription drug abuse, and all stakeholders in health care stand to benefit from a conservative approach focusing on chiropractic first, drugs second and surgery last," said Gerard Clum, D.C., of the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.
To learn more about chiropractic care or to find a chiropractor near your area, visit www.F4CP.org/findadoctor.