To Curb Pain Without Opioids, Oregon Looks To Alternative Treatments, National Public Radio

To Curb Pain Without Opioids, Oregon Looks To Alternative Treatments

Excerpt: "There should be an array of things for people to choose from," Eisen says, "whether it be chiropractic care, or naturopathic care, or acupuncture, nutrition, massage. Try those things — and if they don't work, you use opioids as a last resort."  ...Oregon wants more patients to try this approach. Denise Taray, coordinator of the Oregon Pain Management Commission, says Medicaid's traditional way of dealing with back pain involved bed rest and prescription painkillers.

"The only thing that might have been covered in the past was narcotics," Taray says. "But treatments such as acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, physical therapy and rehab would never have been covered."... Starting in January 2016, the state will fund many of these alternative treatments for patients who get their health care via Oregon's version of Medicaid — the Oregon Health Plan. While the treatments may cost more than a course of pain pills, the hope is to save money by reducing the number of people who become addicted to opioids or abuse them.  read more