3 clinics across Leura, Faulconbridge
and Winston Hills

A surprising recommendation

How a Medication Addiction Crisis has changed attitudes

The opioid crisis in the US has opened up a discussion about treatment options and the role of mood in the perception of pain.  How we treat the individual is a pivotal element of this conversation.  The Opioid addictive use is greatest in the regions most affected by loss of industries and resulting high unemployment. 

It has been observed that pain perception is greater when there is nothing else to distract the individual from the pain.  Being out of work would have to be a significant associated factor.  The physiology of the brain lends further credence to this proposition as pain in registered in the emotion centre of the brain.  

We can each verify that this has been our experience.  Remember when you were doing something that was enjoyable and engrosing, and you didn’t realise you had cut yourself until you saw the blood, then you felt the pain.  Conversely, you may recall hurting yourself during an activity that you were not enjoying, and how it was immediately painful.  So how you feel emotionally will determine how you will perceive the pain.  

Statistics suggest 8 in 10 American adults will be affected by back pain at some point in their life, and low-back pain is one of the most common reasons for an opioid prescription.

Naturally, physical pain is also a driving force behind the opioid epidemic, especially the inappropriate treatment of back pain with opioids and dentists' habit of prescribing narcotics after wisdom tooth extractions.

(While American family doctors prescribe an estimated 15% of all immediate-release opioids — the type most likely to be abused — dentists are not far behind, being responsible for 12% of prescriptions, according to a 2011 paper in the Journal of the American Dental Association.)

This despite the fact that there's no evidence supporting their use for this kind of pain. On the contrary, non-opioid treatment for back pain has been shown to be more effective.

Research published in 2018 found opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter (OTC) drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen, yet most insurance companies still favor opioids when it comes to reimbursement, which makes them culpable for sustaining the opioid crisis, even as doctors and patients try to navigate away from them.

As noted by Dave Chase, author of "The Opioid Crisis Wake-Up Call: Health Care Is Stealing the American Dream. Here's How to Take It Back," in an article for Stat:

"Our entire health care system is built on a vast web of incentives that push patients down the wrong paths. And in most cases it's the entities that manage the money — insurance carriers — that benefit from doing so …

An estimated 700,000 people are likely to die from opioid overdoses between 2015 and 2025,21 making it absolutely essential to understand the connections between insurance carriers, health plans, employers, the public, and the opioid crisis.

We will never get out of this mess unless we stop addiction before it starts the opioid crisis isn't an anomaly. It's a side effect of our health care system."

We in Australia have a different system, in that the third party payer is the government, or the rest of community.  The Medicare system in Australia has a similar effect.  There is a series of policies that are implemented via a series of incentives to the providers and penalties for the public who do not follow fully the guidelines of the policy. 

The more subtle impact of subsidised services is that it directs the consumer in a certain direction.  It may be assumed that the subsidised services are the best and most effective options, however, it may be seen from these US studies that the most effective and often the cheapest options are not offered, and often actively discouraged.  

What's the point we are making? 

According to the American College of Physicians' guidelines heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments should be used as first-line treatments for back pain. Other key treatments for back pain include exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, relaxation, biofeedback, low-level laser therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy.

With all this in mind, as a health consumer, your best option when you have back pain is to go directly to the services that have been shown to give the best results with the least unwanted side effects and lowest cost.  

Hands on Superhealth has a good history of thorough investigation designed to reveal and understand the prime drivers of your back pain.  Armed with this information we are then able to put in place a plan that will target the area that will give the best long term result for you.  Your personal history and current health status will determine how much treatment and how long your body will take to heal.  

As we circle back to the start of this article we can see that the state of mind is a significant and powerful component in the health status and pain perception of the individual.  

Hands on Superhealth takes a wholistic approach to your health and has services that can address the three major areas of health. Your physical or gravity relationship, your digestive and hormonal health and lastly your emotional balance.  

We will have a further discussion about how these three primary elements of your health work together in a priority hierarchy. 

Article sourced from