Updated CDC Opioid Guidelines Creates Opportunity for Chiropractors to Expand Care

In response to the well documented opioid epidemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated and expanded their clinical practice guidelines for prescribing opioids in November of 2022.

Updates to these guidelines are based on new evidence that has emerged since their last release in 2016.

The new version expands on the prior edition by providing clarity on recommended strategies to mitigate risk and encourages physicians to maximize use of nonpharmacologic therapies.

Chiropractic care, manual therapies, and modalities such as laser therapy were amongst the list of approaches acknowledged by the CDC for a variety of conditions.

These guidelines and recommendations are intended to empower physicians and their patients to make informed decisions regarding appropriate and effective pain treatments while carefully considering the benefits and risks of all treatment options available.

While the CDC’s guidelines are voluntary, some states have taken action to address the opioid epidemic by passing legislation to limit opioid prescriptions. Likewise, patients are growing increasingly interested in nonpharmacological and noninvasive pain management techniques to reduce their intake of opioids and other potentially harmful medications.

Pill ContainerThis is putting more pressure on prescribers to consider alternative solutions that meet patients’ needs while reducing the risk and reliance on pharmaceutical pain killers.

Following these updated guidelines, experts expect tremendous growth in alternative pain management modalities such as laser therapy as providers and patients become more considerate of the potential risks of opioids.

This provides chiropractors with an opportunity to expand their arsenal of holistic pain management modalities with a therapy that elevates care, broadens the scope of their capabilities, and helps differentiate their practice from competitors.

Therapy lasers emit a concentrated beam of light energy into the tissue where photons are absorbed by the mitochondria of cells to stimulate the production of ATP, resulting in a variety biological effects, including:

  • Promoting tissue regeneration and wound healing by stimulating fibroblast development.
  • Reducing inflammation and edema by stimulating blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
  • Inducing analgesia by easing nociceptors and stimulating the release of endorphins and enkephalins to block the transmission of painful

As therapeutic laser technologies continue to advance, they are becoming more efficient in their biological effects and applicable to a wider range of indications.

Among these advancements is the Multiwave Locked System® (MLS), a unique Class IV therapy laser emission system. With synchronized wavelengths, the MLS Therapy Laser provides an immediate, simultaneous, and long lasting effect on pain and inflammation that exceeds the limitations of traditional low-level laser therapy while avoiding the safety concerns of early generation high-power Class IV lasers.

Combined with other chiropractic methods or as a standalone modality, MLS Laser Therapy can improve chiropractic care with decreased pain and inflammation, shorter recovery times, and increased function and mobility.

With recent acknowledgements from the CDC and an already increasing popularity amongst chiropractors, MLS Laser Therapy is quickly becoming the standard of care for drug-free and non-invasive pain management.

Learn more about the CDC Clinical Practice Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Pain.

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