Chiropractors Encouraged as Senate Recognizes Need for Resources to Fight Opioid Crisis

Arlington, Va. – The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) is encouraged by the reports that the U.S. Senate is slated to add $45 billion to its healthcare reform bill, emphasizing the need for healthcare reform efforts that further address the nation’s opioid epidemic.

“Both the House and Senate bills designed to restructure the healthcare delivery system have been mostly silent on the opioid issue,” said ACA President David Herd, DC. “A key component of any healthcare legislation emerging from Capitol Hill today must be a strong focus on combating opioid abuse and encouraging alternatives to the overprescribing of pain medications. ACA applauds the Senate for recognizing this shortcoming in the bill; however, we believe Congress needs to continue work on the measure to ensure Americans have access to substantive healthcare plans.”

The chiropractic profession offers a non-drug, noninvasive approach to chronic low-back pain management that is supported by research. This conservative approach may include trying spinal manipulation combined with exercise and stretching prior to moving on to procedures involving higher risk. Active self-care and complementary and integrative strategies may provide a solution for many chronic pain sufferers.

“Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians updated its clinical guidelines for acute and chronic low-back pain to promote the use of conservative treatments such as spinal manipulation, among other treatments, before moving on to over-the-counter and prescription painkillers,” Dr. Herd added. “It should be noted that all of these services are commonly offered by chiropractors, who are acknowledged experts in the use of spinal manipulation.”

Many cases of opioid addiction – and eventual heroin use – can be traced back to an epidemic of chronic pain that has for too long been improperly treated in this country. Back pain, in particular, has been identified as one of the most common reasons why primary care physicians prescribe opioids, despite the fact that a 2016 review and meta-analysis of relevant research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals that these drugs are essentially ineffective for treating chronic low-back pain.

The Senate is slated to pick up debate on healthcare reform in mid-July. The House of Representatives passed its reform bill in May.

About the American Chiropractic Association
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. Find an ACA chiropractor near you at