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By: Dr. Donna A. Pontoriero, Chiropractor

Despite the clear risks, doctors have continued to prescribe painkillers, and perform surgeries and injections, sometimes to patients who won't take no for an answer or who can't afford to try alternatives.

Slowly, though, the tide is shifting.

Medical societies and public health agencies are now advising doctors to try less invasive options before considering opioids or surgery.

Most recently, in February 2017, the American College of Physicians advised doctors and patients to try "non-drug therapies" such as exercise, acupuncture, tai chi, yoga, and chiropractic, and avoid prescription drugs or surgical options wherever possible. In March 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also came out with new guidelines urging health care providers to turn to non-drug options and non-opioid painkillers before considering opioids.

At the same time, research has mounted suggesting alternative therapies (acupuncture, massage, spinal manipulation) can be effective.

Spinal manipulation is a specialty of chiropractors, who are trained in alleviating lower back pain. They can offer a range of non-drug therapies for back pain and recommend exercises and important lifestyle changes to help prevent future back pain and injury.

Please contact our office if you would like further evaluation on your condition.

Dr. Donna Pontoriero can be reached at 299 Franklin Ave, Nutley NJ 07110, 973-235-9393.