Opioid Alternatives

By Saree Reveling |

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As a Fargo chiropractic office focused on full body treatment, we see patients everyday suffering from chronic pain and the residual problems from non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's).  NSAID's are taken by millions of Americans each and every day and the effect of these drugs to the body and mind is alarming to say the least. Our patients are treated through therapies and modalities that are effective and safe providing them with a "drugless life" alternative.

This article will address the alarming statistics we are now facing in the midwest and all across the nation relating to the painful truth behind painkillers. Fortunately, there ARE other options which are effective and without side effects. We will address those options for you and more.

Common NSAID's and Side Effects 

Some examples of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID's) are Ibuprofen, Naprosen (Naproxen), Celecoxib (Celebrex), and Acetylsalicyclic Acid (Aspirin). NSAID's are used by over 60 million Americans and common side effects include cardiovascular problems, hearing loss, allergic reactions, gastrointestinal complications and miscarriages.

Most Americans are unaware that NSAID's are safe to be taken only up to 10 days. Physicians and healthcare providers are not properly warning patients of the long-term effects of these drugs taken for a longer period of time. See Ibuprofen Drug Facts label by the U.S. Department of Health.

Mercola came out with some statistics outlining just how dangerous these over-the-counter drugs can be (See picture on left)


Due to heightened awareness in the medical community regarding the overuse of pain killers and evidence they are gateway drugs to heroine and other street drugs, clinics and health systems have adopted more restrictive protocols for prescribing opioids, including recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fortunately, we are seeing a more conservative approach to prescribing pain medications reflecting a "cultural change" in the health care industry. North Dakota Medicaid claims payments have shown a significant and continued decrease in opioid prescriptions.

"I'm very encouraged by the results," said Brendan Joyce, a pharmacist and administrator of pharmacy services with the North Dakota Department of Human Services, which administers the Medicaid program.

What does this mean for patients?

Unfortunately, according to Michael Schwab, executive vice president of the North Dakota Pharmacists Association, as doctors and other practitioners are becoming more restrictive in prescribing opioid painkillers and narcotic prescriptions, some addicts are turning to street sources, such as heroin, fentanyl and carfentanil. This is why we are seeing such a rise in overdose deaths. In addition, opioid overdoses kill more Minnesotans than traffic accidents, and opioids are the leading drug killers.

Nationally, there were more than 63,600 drug overdose deaths during 2016, with about two-thirds of deaths opioid-related, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If current trends hold, the Trust for America's Health projects the annual toll could reach 163,000 deaths by 2025.

A recent Fargo Forum article explains:

Safe and Effective Alternative Therapies

Dr. Rohit Mahajan with Sanford Pain Clinic states that doctors are now reconsidering how they prescribe opioids for pain management.

When talking about pain medication Dr. Mahajan states, "we're not seeing that those patients are getting a significant reduction in their pain or significant improvement in their ability to function." Now they're embracing alternative pain therapies - like chiropractic therapy, massage, implantable therapies, acupuncture and behavioral pain therapy.

Decreasing muscle tension is a valuable component to reducing pain. Muscle tension is a large component leading to chronic pain for people. For more information on pain clinics turning to alternative therapies, see the Valley News Live clip below:

Current research shows spinal manipulation to be a clinically superior treatment option over NSAID's. A recent Research Brief from SPINE Journal compared chiropractic manipulation to NSAID's concluding chiropractic care to be significantly better than NSAID's and clinically superior to placebo.

Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo.

At All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center in Fargo, North Dakota, we have been treating our patients in a "drugless" fashion with positive results for several years. Chiropractic adjustments have been a key component to reducing our clients' pain. We treat chronic pain in a 4-part approach:

Step 1: Pain Relief Care:

In our first step in bringing you relief from your pain we take a full body approach to examine all aspects of your health. We work to find the source of your pain, rather than just bringing temporary relief. Whether your pain is a result of a chronic condition - such as chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic athletic related injuries, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis - or you were injured in an accident or sporting event, we use the latest techniques and therapies to relieve your pain.

Step 2: Corrective Care:

In addition to working towards relieving your pain, we can outline a customized corrective care program to help restore your full body to its normal alignment throughout your kinetic chain. This allows us to rehabilitate the muscles, tendons and ligaments and to restore proper range of motion and muscle strength. The goal is to minimize a relapse of your pain by following through with a customized treatment plan.

Step 3: Supportive Care:

For those suffering from pain caused by a bulging disk, degenerative disease or other issue needing ongoing care, we offer supportive care and treatment plan options to help keep you out of pain while allowing you to enjoy life.

Step 4: Preventative Care:

After achieving full range of motion and muscle strength, we offer ongoing preventative care so you can maintain those gains and prevent potential issues before they happen. Our passion is for you to experience a life where pain is just a distant memory.

For more information about Dr. Paul Bekkum and chiropractic treatments through All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center, go to http://drpaulbekkum.com/pain-relief/

Alternative Modalities

There are several modalities outside mainstream medicine that provide safe and effective treatment for chronic pain. Many of these modalities have been clinically proven to provide effective results and are being offered across the globe, only recently being offered here in the United States.

All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center offers a number of effective modalities to treat chronic pain. Our Pulsed Electro-magnetic Field (PEMF) Therapy has been effective in treating a number of problems associated with chronic pain. PEMF therapy provides painless, 8 minute treatments by applying gentle, therapeutic frequencies to the cells and stimulating healthy electrical and chemical processes in the tissues.  This improves circulation and cell metabolism - which is what your body needs for healing! For more information about PEMF therapy, go to: http://drpaulbekkum.com/pemf-therapy-fargo/

Our K-Laser Therapy delivers specific red and near-infrared wavelengths of laser light to induce a therapeutic effect within the body and specified areas to provide targeted pain relief. The K-Laser is proven to biostimulate tissue repair and growth by accelerating the healing process by decreasing inflammation, pain, and scar tissue formation in the management of chronic and acute pain. All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center is one of the only clinics in town to provide this innovative therapy. For more information about K-Laser Therapy, go to: http://drpaulbekkum.com/cold-laser-therapy/ Also see: http://www.k-laser.com

Chronic use of NSAID's creates gastrointestinal problems leading to acid reflux and food sensitivities. At All Seasons, we identify and treat these problems through our Nutritional Lab Testing  http://drpaulbekkum.com/nutritional-lab-testing/
a revolutionary nutritional supplement line. http://drpaulbekkum.com/nutrametrix/

Additional modalities such as Vibrational Therapy, Electrical Stimulation Therapy with Ultrasound, Foot Orthotics and Traction Therapy are also offered in our office. For more information: Therapies We Offer.

In the end, there are other options for chronic pain rather than addictive pain killers and anti-inflammatory medications. At All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center, we want you to get back to doing "What Moves You".

Dr. Paul Bekkum leads the team of health care professionals at All Seasons Full Body Chiropractic Center.  His life's mission is to help people live active and healthy lives.  Dr. Bekkum believes that pain doesn't have to be a life-long sentence.  By focusing on a person's whole body, Dr. Bekkum can help detect, correct, and prevent health problems. Dr. Bekkum was born and raised in River Falls, WI, and attended University of Wisconsin - River Falls, then graduated from Northwestern College of Chiropractic in 1992. In addition to being a Doctor of Chiropractic, Dr. Paul Bekkum is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Biology.  Dr. Bekkum is a team chiropractor for the NDSU Rodeo team.  To schedule an appointment with Dr. Bekkum, call (701) 356-0016.

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Posted in Chiropractic Adjustments, Headaches, Laser Therapy