“Chiropractic users were also less likely to receive an opioid prescription...”
Assessing "Downstream" Impact
Corcoran said the investigators knew of "a small but growing amount of scientific literature" suggesting that chiropractic care may be negatively correlated with opioid use.
However, "no study has systematically reviewed all of the available literature to determine if indeed there was an overall association between use of a chiropractor and receipt of opioids," she said.
"So we were curious to see if chiropractic care would have an impact on downstream opioid use," Corcoran added.
After reviewing all of the available literature on chiropractic use and opioid prescribing, the researchers selected six studies with a total of 62,000 patients to include in the current analysis.
The data showed that the use of chiropractic care ranged from 11.3% to 51.3%.
The proportion of patients receiving an opioid prescription was lower for chiropractic users (range, 12.3% - 57.6%) compared with nonusers (range, 31.2% - 65.9%).
Chiropractic users were also less likely to receive an opioid prescription, with a risk ratio of 0.51 (95% confidence interval, 0.44 - 0.59; P < .001).
The research was supported by the Department of Veterans Affairs, Health Services Research and Development, and the NCMIC Foundation. Corcoran and Hansen have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.
American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) 2019 Annual Meeting: Abstract 107. Presented March 08, 2019.