Since the start of the opioid drug abuse epidemic, health officials have promoted the role providers should play in solving the crisis by writing fewer prescriptions for opioid painkillers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidance this year for doctors to try alternative approaches of treating pain such as over-the-counter medications and cognitive-behavioral and physical therapy before prescribing opioids.
The shift will be a key topic Thursday when Michael Botticelli, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, participates in a panel discussion during the annual meeting of the American Osteopathic Association in Chicago.
The interest in alternative strategies to manage pain has been on the rise in recent years but has been hindered by what many see as a lack of progress in developing more effective non-opioid options.
And many pain specialists argue that they still struggle to get insurers to fully cover some pain treatment modalities.
Botticelli's visit may be seen as a sign of greater acceptance of the use of osteopathic manipulation for the treatment of pain despite some continued doubts about its benefits.