The Prescription Painkiller Epidemic

prescription painkiller epidemic

The Prescription Painkiller Epidemic

Opioid painkiller drugs mask pain. They do not cure it. Prescription drugs that numb pain in some cases may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is less severe than it is, or that it has healed. This misunderstanding can lead to over-extension and a delay in the healing process, or even to permanent injury.

Prescribers of Opioid Painkillers in the United States

Chiropractic physicians are skilled in the most conservative treatment methods to alleviate pain and urge patients and other health care providers, where appropriate, to exhaust these options before resorting to riskier and more invasive treatments such as drugs and surgery.

Primary Care MDs – 28.8%

Internists – 14.6%

Orthopaedic Surgeons – 7.7%

Chiropractic Physicians – 0.0%

Torticollis Neck Pain! What Is This Neck Pain?!

Clear Lake Chiropractor Comments: “When I woke up this morning, I couldn’t move my neck!  Every time I try to move it, I feel sharp pain on the left side of the neck shooting down into the shoulder blade.  It just came out of nowhere!”

Chances are, you are suffering from a common condition called torticollis – which is a typical neck pain which can be treated with chiropractic treatment, which literally means, “twisted neck” after the Latin terms of “torti” (twisted) and “collis” (neck).  The common name for this is “wry neck,” and it’s basically a painful muscle spasm, like a “Charlie-horse” but located in the neck muscles.  Usually, a person wakes up in the morning with this and the cause is often related to sleeping with the window being open or a fan or air conditioner blowing on you.  It can also relate to a “cold settling in the muscle” after a cold or flu virus.  Trauma such as falling or a car accident can also cause torticollis. However, most of the time, patients with torticollis are not sure what caused the abrupt onset of symptoms.

Usually, torticollis will gradually improve over a 2 week time frame. However, it only takes a few days to a week (at the most) if you receive chiropractic adjustments.  Most importantly, without treatments, the sharp pain can last a week and can severely limit your activity, often prohibiting work as well as your desired “fun” activities.  Hence, most people prefer having this treated as opposed to “waiting it out.” In some cases, it can last longer than a month and in rare cases even longer, so getting this treated is highly recommended.  Also, try to get in for a treatment immediately before the muscle spasm really sets up.  We find this to be the most effective approach.  Here are a list of symptoms and treatment suggestions for torticollis:

Acute Torticollis Symptoms

  • Muscle spasms
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Neck and spine contortion (neck twisted to right or left side of body)

Pain Relief Treatments for Acute Torticollis

  • Chiropractic neck and spinal adjustment
  • Analgesics
  • Hot / Cold packs
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Rubs and ointments (Icy Hot, BioFreeze)
  • Massage with essential oils
  • Sleep / Relax
  • Supportive cervical collar

If you, a family member or a friend require Torticollis care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our service.  We are proud that chiropractic care has consistently scored the highest level of satisfaction when compared to other forms of health care provision and we look forward in serving you and your family presently and in the future.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!

Low Back Pain: Prescribed Medications vs. Spinal Manipulation

Low Back Pain: Prescribed Medications vs. Spinal Manipulation

Patients should be informed of nonpharmacological therapies for low back pain before using riskier, less effective treatments. Manual-thrust manipulation, performed by chiropractic physicians, achieves a greater short-term reduction in pain compared with common medical treatments.

56% of medical care recipients had a 30% reduction in low back pain at week 4.

94% of manual-thrust manipulation recipients had a 30% reduction in low back pain at week 4.

If you would like to no more about manual-thrust chiropractic back manipulation for low back pain, please contact Dr. Beecher at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic in Houston Texas!

Source: Schneider M. et al. Comparison of Spinal Manipulation Methods and Usual Medical Care for Acute and Subacute Low Back Pain, Spine 2015. Vol. 40. No. 4 pp 209-217.

Backpack Safety Checklist From Your Houston Chiropractor!

In 2013 alone, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission cited 5,415 backpack-related injuries treated at emergency rooms. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) point to the dangers of heavy backpacks, resulting in injuries ranging from acute and chronic back pain to other painful conditions.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) recommends that parents choose the right backpack (see list below) and then help their children pack them properly, leaving out unnecessary items to insure they weigh no more than 10 percent of a child’s body weight.

  • Is the backpack the correct size for your child?
  • Does the backpack have padded shoulder straps for comfort?
  • Are the shoulder straps adjustable?
  • Does your child use both straps?
  • Does the backpack have a padded back?
  • Does the backpack have compartments to keep contents in place?

Are you concerned for the back health of your child? Houston chiropractor – Dr. Beecher of Beecher Chiropractic Clinic can help you and your child!

Why Is My Back Always Hurting?

Houston Area Chiropractor Comments: Low back pain is a very common problem affecting 80-90% of all of us at some point in our lifetime.  Why is that you ask?  There are many reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that we are 2-legged animals carrying 2/3rds of our weight above our waist.  Studies have shown deterioration or arthritis occurs much sooner in us vs. our 4-legged animal counterparts. A 180 lbs man carries roughly 120 lbs above the waist.  This means, every time he bends over, in order to stand upright, he needs to lift 120 lbs PLUS whatever he is lifting.  Hence, the argument of, “…but I only bent over to lift a pencil and my back went out,” seems on the surface as impossible but in reality, the man in our example is lifting the pencil plus 120 lbs. Now, let’s add to that the point that a 5 pound weight equals 50 pounds when held out in front with the arms stretched out straight.  Now, if that’s not bad enough, now, let’s assume all of this is happening from a bent forward position, with a twist at the waist, with out stretched arms, while lifting a 20 pound object.  Get the idea?  It’s amazing our back doesn’t get injured every day as we lift 2 bags of groceries into the far end of a car trunk, or, when lifting our 30 pound child in and out of a car seat, height chair, or when they are screaming and pushing away from us as we try to lift them!

In order to further appreciate why the low back is so vulnerable to injury, some basic understanding of anatomy is needed.  When we’re born, the back is made up of 33 segments of which 5 fuse by the time we’re about 18 years old to make up the sacrum (bottom of the spine) and 4 fuse to make up the coccyx (tail bone), leaving 5 lumbar (low back), 12 thoracic (mid-back) and 7 cervical (neck) vertebra.  These are stacked up on top of each other like building blocks and are connected to each other by a shock absorbing disk in the front and two smaller facet joints in the back, acting like a tripod.  In the low back, we’re supposed to bear about 80% of our weight in the front and 20% in the back but, if our abdominal muscles are a bit out of shape and the pelvis rotates forwards, the curve in the low back increases and overloads the back of the vertebra (facets) making them vulnerable to injury.  The disk becomes injured when we bend/lift/twist. This can tear the outer tough fibers of the disk, allowing the central more liquid-like material to leak out.  If this happens, the leaking or “herniated” disk can put pressure on the nerve that exits the spine and travels down our leg.  If the pain pattern includes the back of the leg, it’s commonly referred to as “sciatica.”

why does my back always hurt
Back Pain – Credit to flickr photo by FootMassagez shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

OK, enough about anatomy.  What can we do to reduce the chances of having periodic low back pain? Obviously, staying in shape is very important. Certain muscles of the body must be tight to keep us upright or standing.  These muscles need to be stretched on a regular basis. For example: the hamstring muscle.  We’ve all had to perform hurdler types of exercises and remember how tight they feel!

We realize that you have a choice in where you choose for your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future.

Dr. Ward Beecher practices at your local Houston chiropractor – Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment or call (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please comment below!