The Opioid Crisis — A Case of Mass Homicide?

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The inappropriate treatment approach to back pain and post-surgical pain from tonsillectomies and wisdom teeth removal are driving forces behind the opioid epidemic
  • Insurance claims data reveal 60% of children between the ages of 1 and 18 with private insurance fill one or more opioid prescriptions after surgical tonsil removal. Dentists wrote 18.1 million prescriptions for opioids in 2017
  • Research shows opioids (including morphine, Vicodin, oxycodone and fentanyl) fail to control moderate to severe pain any better than over-the-counter drugs such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and naproxen
  • The American College of Physicians’ guideline for low back pain call for the use of heat, massage, acupuncture or chiropractic adjustments as first-line treatments. When drugs are desired, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or muscle relaxants should be used
  • While clinical practice guidelines call for nonpharmacological intervention for back pain, most insurance plans avoid paying for such treatments, favoring opioid treatment instead

Continue reading

Simple, Effective Approaches for Safely Preventing and Treating Back Pain

Story at-a-glance 

An estimated 75-85 percent of Americans will experience back pain at some time in their lives; in most cases, the pain is due to a mechanical problem, such as poor posture, improper movement, and excessive sitting Continue reading

Three Things Every Owner of an Older Dog Should Be Doing

By Dr. Becker

The canine lifespan seems too short, doesn’t it?

By the time a large breed dog is 10 years old, he’s considered retirement age in human years. Giant breeds age fastest of all, Continue reading