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New Warning on Pain Medications Should Encourage Patients to Seek Drug-Free Options, Says American Chiropractic Association

by American Chiropractic Associattion | 3/26/2007 2:55:01 PM

Recent guidelines issued by the American Heart Association that recommend medication as a last resort for chronic pain patients at risk for heart disease should encourage doctors and patients to first consider non-drug treatments such as chiropractic care, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). “For years, the American Chiropractic Association has advocated restraint against the use of excessive drugs and unnecessary surgeries, because safer and more effective options exist,” said ACA President Richard Brassard, DC. “With recent studies linking many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, it is more important than ever for patients to have access to conservative treatments such as chiropractic care. Not only is chiropractic care safer than many medical treatments and procedures, it is also more cost effective.” The scientific statement, released by the heart association on Feb. 26, urged doctors to initially focus on “nonpharmacological approaches” to pain management in patients at risk for heart disease in an effort to avoid the possible cardiovascular complications of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – or NSAIDs. Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, headaches and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints. In addition, a significant amount of evidence shows that the use of chiropractic care for certain conditions can be more effective and less costly than traditional medical care. Recent research includes: • A study published in the October 2005 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) found that chiropractic and medical care have comparable costs for treating chronic low-back pain, with chiropractic care producing significantly better outcomes. • A March 2004 study in JMPT found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in patients' first year of symptoms. • A study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the medical journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than does a variety of medications. The American Chiropractic Association is the nation's leading chiropractic organization representing more than 16,000 doctors of chiropractic and their patients. For more information, visit the ACA’s Web site at:

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