CF 163: Impact Of Chiropractic Care on Opioid Use & Garbage Marketing In The Chiropractic Profession

Today we’re going to talk about the impact of chiropractic care on opioid use and then we’ll talk about garbage marketing in the chiropractic profession. I go off a bit. I can’t help it. They make me nuts.  But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.22-AM-150x55.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.33-AM-150x55.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.09-AM-150x55.jpg

OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #163 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we had Dr. Bobby Maybee of the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance and the Chiropractic Success Academy. It was Part Two of a two-part interview that I think you’ll all get plenty of excellent insight and inspiration from. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

I had the second Moderna vaccine shot on January 20th and all’s well. My experience is that, if you remember, I had zero symptoms with the first shot. Not even a sore arm. Nothing at all.  With this second one, I had a pretty sore arm. It felt like when I got the flu shot. Just a sore arm. It was red for a couple of days too. It was honestly about two days and that was it. I may have been hyperfocused on whether I was having symptoms or not but was maybe a touch tired that day.

I got the shot at 2:30 in the afternoon and then went back to work until 6pm so….I may have been a touch draggy but like I said, that could have just been me being hyperfocused. It wasn’t anything very noticeable.  My wife felt a little crummy for one day. Then she was back at it.  Overall, not a bad deal. They say the full protection is approximately 2 weeks after shot #2 so we’re looking pretty good and, outside of the first two weeks we took off in late March of 2020, I haven’t had to take any days off due to illness and if it all works out, I won’t have to in the future. As a result of COVID anyway.  As I’ve said here, I don’t think it’s unreasonable at all to wait to get yours until you’ve seen how everyone else reacts to it.

I really don’t. I’m not a ‘get your shot instantly’ type of guy. Especially if you have associates that will pick up your slack should you get COVID and be out sick. But when you’re a solo doc like me, the business depends on your presence. I can’t get sick and be out for 2-4 weeks. Some folks are out much longer than that. For me, there’s nothing that makes more sense than getting the vaccine as quickly as possible.  In addition, I have a wife that is 100% over this mess and is ready to go traveling. So, happy wife – happy life in full effect.  Also, I have a local surgeon running advertisements all over TV and it makes me want to punt baby bunnies into the stratosphere.  He says in thw commercial that we all deserve to live without pain and then he goes into his campaign in support of back and neck surgery. Who am I to try to keep someone from marketing their business?

But day-um. One word, two syllables. Day-um. 

Years ago it was illegal to run an ad for hard liquor. You don’t see any cigarette commercials do you?  Now, I’m not saying surgery is equal to cigarette smoking and hard liquor but I know several that have done worse through one surgery they they would ever do from a life of smoking and drinking.  I see that commercial come on TV and I start talking to the TV. I have a strongly worded conversation with the TV every time. It’s because I know that there’s little to no support for spinal surgeries in the research and there’s not better outcomes from them either. The problem is that the common, every day patient does not know that. 

They see the damn white coat and lose their damn minds and just say, “OK.” A pharma commercial could say that you butt could fall out of you walking across a room if you take this medicine and people would still line up for it.  You tell them we’re going to get you moving and exercise and they think you’re dangerous or crazy. It’s a conundrum.  Alright, let’s get to the good stuff shall we?

Item #1

This first item is called “Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain” by Whedon et. al(Whedon JM 2020)….there’s that Whedon name again. It was published in Pain Medicine in December of 2020 and that a lot hot

Why They Did It

Utilization of nonpharmacological pain management may prevent unnecessary use of opioids. Our objective was to evaluate the impact of chiropractic utilization upon use of prescription opioids among patients with spinal pain.

How They Did It

  • The total number of subjects was 101,221.
  • It was a retrospective cohort design for analysis of health claims data from three contiguous states for the years 2012–2017.
  • included adults aged 18–84 years enrolled in a health plan and with office visits to a primary care physician or chiropractor for spinal pain.
  • We identified two cohorts of subjects: Recipients received both primary care and chiropractic care, and nonrecipients received primary care but not chiropractic care.
  • We performed adjusted time-to-event analyses to compare recipients and nonrecipients with regard to the risk of filling an opioid prescription. We stratified the recipient populations as: acute (first chiropractic encounter within 30 days of diagnosis) and nonacute (all other patients).

What They Found

Overall, between 1.55 and 2.03 times more non-recipients filled an opioid prescription, as compared with recipients.  Similar differences were observed for the acute groups.

Wrap It Up

Patients with spinal pain who saw a chiropractor had half the risk of filling an opioid prescription. Among those who saw a chiropractor within 30 days of diagnosis, the reduction in risk was greater as compared with those with their first visit after the acute phase. CHIROUP ADVERTISEMENT

Item #2

Alright, I’m going after vitalists a bit here today in item #1. I came across a script and I just can’t ignore this stuff anymore. If we’re not willing to call it out, then we are complicit. And I refuse to be that. In fact, if you have any of these scripts you’ve been given from vitalist gurus, please email them to me at [email protected] I would love to read them on future podcasts and discuss my disdain for the tom foolery within. 

This script is to be used when a patient hasn’t been in for a while. It’s basically used to scare the holy hell out them and force them back to your office because… know…..they depend on you to keep them healthy and there are no other means of keeping one healthy outside of the removal of the magical subluxation.  So, here is the script: Dear Patient I have been thinking about you! (with an exclamation mark because, you know….bilking and scaring people is super exciting and all). I realized I have not seen you in a while.

So, I reviewed your file and looked at your last x-ray.  I am concerned that based on your past history, you might be suffering the effects of spinal degeneration without being aware of it. The first effect of spinal degeneration is that the nerve that supplies the area stops performing its normal function.  This means that your nerve is unable to alert you to a problem that is potentially developing…. That’s not emotionally manipulative at all now, is it? It would be like cutting the wire to your fire alarm when your house is on fire!!! OMG!! Cutting….it sounds so awful!! 

The alarm can’t warn you of the fire in time to get out of the house, Holy s-word!!! That must mean I’m going to burn the hell up then. I better call this knucklehead’s office and be seen before I look like a crispy curly fry!! Gimme a damn break. I can’t believe professionals are sending out garbage like this.  It continues; Another sign of spinal degeneration is the loss of flexibility. You lose files without being aware of it. You begin to turn with your shoulders instead of using your neck.

You lift with your back instead of bending your knees. You should have enough flex to enjoy your life. This means you should be able to get out of bed in the morning without feeling stiff or sore. It means you can do the things you enjoy in life. You should be flexible enough to exercise and enjoy your hobbies and leisure time including sitting down to watch your favorite TV programs without being stiff when you get back up. 

The most serious effect of spinal degeneration is loss of vitality. Oh that sounds horrible. Not vitality!!  You should feel healthy!! Yes, you should but you can do that by making yourself move and exercise and eat better while getting a good amount of sleep. You don’t need a chiropractor to feel healthy.   You should have a sense of wellness and energy. You should be able to get out of bed ready to go. You don’t feel this way when your systems do not function properly. You feel that something is just not right but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

You feel stressed and tense. Yeah….like 100% of every other American on this planet.  Last paragraph of the garbage. 

I have set aside the next month for you as “Welcome back to Chiropractic month.” Damn, that’s so nice. They set aside a whole month for me. Sweet bastards. 

Do yourself a favor and call our office to schedule a visit. I will perform a ‘back to chiropractic adjustment and exam including x-rays if needed at no cost.’ Way to value you treatment, doc!! This visit has a normal valued of up to $175 and is yours absolutely FREE during the next month. It’s my way of encouraging you to get back on track and avoid the consequences of spinal degeneration. Please bring the enclosed ‘back to chiropractic’ coupon with you when you come to the office. I look forward to seeing you again soon! Now, if you can read through that without throwing up, congratulations. You have a stomach of iron.

Secondly, if you ever hear a vitalist claim they do not use scare tactics to take advantage of their patients, they’re simply not being honest. In essence, that’s exactly what the subluxation theory is in the first place. IT’s a scare tactic. The silent killer, right? You’ll get sick, you’ll be unhealthy. You’ll develop degeneration. Not because of the consequences of normal freaking aging but because you had all those subluxations all up in ya. 

Talking about the person and using the word ‘you’ is a sales tactic. They use the word ‘you’ or its variants 39 times in that mess of a sales letter.  Can I say that I’m not sure I’ve gotten a birthday card from my family MD much less a scare tactic-laden sales letter.  We can do better than this folks.

Crap like this make us all look like fools. Not to mention what it makes the ones sending their crap out look like. They look like bozo the clown in full makeup, y’all.  “I am concerned that based on your past history, you might be suffering the effects of spinal degeneration without being aware of it. The first effect of spinal degeneration is that the nerve that supplies the area stops performing its normal function.”

Come on man. Spinal degeneration is a normal part of aging. You quit building bone and then you start to regress over the years. This is natural. Stop making patients believe they have to depend on you. It’s not right and if the state boards have any teeth on this kind of garbage, they should start using it. That’s if chiropractic is ever going to step its game up.  We are better than this. When you and your heart and your business are built on things like, honestly, ethics, character, education, and love……you could never in your life send out something like that.  When you are built on selfishness, low-character, deceitfulness, and an anything to get ahead, then you’re more than happy to send it out and you won’t think twice when they come in because you scared them and then you scare them into treating every other week for the next year with upfront payment, blah blah blah. How do these types of practitioners live with themselves?  The absolute worst are the ones that claim it’s a God thing.

If they don’t come in and get their regular adjustment, they can’t allow God to express his true power in their body’s? Oh….is that right? The dude we Christians claim created the world and man in his own image……the dude controlling everything on Earth and beyond…..that dude needs a chiropractor to adjust their patients all of the time because he didn’t make quite perfect enough. The hell you say.

Remember, I’m a Christian. I can make fun. The hypocrisy in this type of practitioner is about as low as it gets for me.  All of these practitioners have big houses. No doubt. But at what cost personally and to our profession?  We’re better than that. Stop it dammit. Stop it now

Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourselves and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at 

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.22-AM-150x55.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.33-AM-150x55.jpg

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screen-Shot-2018-07-12-at-10.23.09-AM-150x55.jpg

The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventativly after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic!

Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

Connect We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.


Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP




Player FM Link



About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger  

Bibliography Whedon JM, T. A., Kazal L, Bezdijian S, (2020). “Impact of Chiropractic Care on Use of Prescription Opioids in Patients with Spinal Pain.” Pain Med 21(12): 3567-3573.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *