Non-Opioid Pain Relief Offers Hope to Weekend Warriors

They may not make ESPN’s highlight reel, but amateur athletes get injured just as often as the pros. It could be from an awkward golf swing, or something as simple as not warming up or stretching long enough before participating in an event.

Whatever the case, there is one thing they have in common with well-paid pros, according to Outside magazine: “The reality is that all athletes are one fall, twist, or tweak away from landing their own opioid prescription.”

The warning couldn’t be more timely. It’s not only that the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid crisis that has claimed the lives of thousands of prescription painkiller abusers and left countless more addicted to the likes of Oxycontin. It’s also that, as the magazine states, doctors are starting to seriously heed last year’s call from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to dramatically minimize prescribing the drugs.

According to a survey conducted for the Boston Globe by the SERMO physicians social network, more than half of the doctors across the nation are doing exactly that, and nearly one in 10 have completely stopped prescribing them.

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So what is an amateur athlete in pain supposed to do? Many experts suggest trying a drug-free approach, such as chiropractic care.

Whereas opioids (and other anti-inflammatory forms of over-the-counter drugs) only “mask” the pain, doctors of chiropractic approach the problem as highly educated and trained in the structure and function of the human body.

In addition, doctors of chiropractic use hands-on techniques to help enhance flexibility, muscle strength, and range of motion – the very things all athletes need addressing. And bonus? Chiropractic is covered by most insurance and health plans, says the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress’s Dr. Sherry McAllister.