Past Articles

Opioid Pain Killers and Crash Risk in the Elderly

Opioid use has been in the spotlight recently. From over-prescription, to abuse and addiction, to devastating long-term effects, the conversation about these controversial medications has even reached the federal level through opioid legislation. But the drug is now receiving attention in a new topic of discussion: motor vehicle accidents. A new study from the Oxford Journal Age and Ageing has demonstrated a possible link between opioid use and increased vehicle crash risk for individuals 50-80 years old. The results of this study demonstrated that older drivers using opioid medications doubled their risk of a single-vehicle crash against those using non-opioid analgesics. Previous studies have also suggested possible increased risk associated with driving while taking opioids, which further reinforces the known risks of opioid medications. For doctors of chiropractic, seeing patients who are taking opioid medications is all too familiar. This is because opioids are very commonly prescribed for back and neck pain, and are often taken long-term. However, these drugs can have devastating side effects such as depression, dependence, and even damage to the brain. Fortunately, chiropractic care presents a solution. Rather than prescribing long-term medications or invasive procedures, chiropractic care relies on non-invasive, sustainable, and effective treatment measures that don't just mask the symptoms of pain, but treat the actual source of discomfort. Particularly for the elderly, the understood risks of opioid usage are increasing. But chiropractic care presents a solution that is safe and effective for all ages, eliminating the risks associated with these medications, and resolving pain from the source. By minimizing or eliminating the need for pain medications, chiropractic care can effectively increase safety for elderly patients and increase their quality of life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Age and Aging, online July 26, 2016.