Pain Management without Opioids
People who struggle with chronic pain are often prescribed opioid painkillers by their doctors as a solution. Even though painkillers can be useful as a temporary fix for pain following a surgery, the continual use of opioids for chronic pain issues can be more dangerous. Opioids are highly addictive and can lead to many physical and mental health problems.
Opioids are part of what has now become a national epidemic of abuse and addiction that has lead to many tragic deaths from overdose in the U.S. The possibility of overdose is very real when you use opioids, even if you are using them for legitimate health reasons. Opioids are addictive and cause people to develop af tolerance which makes them use more and more of the drug over time and in some cases enough to make their body shut down.
Even though heavy drugs like opioids may seem like the only answer when you have chronic pain, the truth is that there are other options that can help alleviate pain. Opioids are just one out of many pain management tools available to people who suffer from chronic pain and need relief. Using different pain management techniques can help steer you away from prescription painkillers for good.
Different Types of Pain Therapy
People with chronic pain have a number of solutions that they can try to help reduce their feelings of pain. Keeping an open mind and trying new things can help minimize your reliance on opioids and keep you safe from the possibility of addiction and overdose. People may have to try multiple options until they find one that works best for them.
For people with more mild cases of pain, they can try options like acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These are the type of pain medications commonly found in over the counter drugs but doctors can prescribe higher doses of them to patients with pain problems. They don’t have the addiction risks that opioids have but if used regularly over a long period of time they can cause other physical problems such as organ toxicity and ulcers when people reach a certain age.
Other types of medication can be useful such as serotonin and norephinephrine reuptake inhibitors. These are different kinds of antidepressants that can be used to help treat nerve pain such as diabetic neuropathy as well as muscular and skeletal pain. Some types of antidepressants that are prescribed for anxiety can also make it easier for patients with chronic pain to sleep.
In addition to these types of prescriptions there are other options for getting treatment for pain such as topical medications like lidocaine and capsicin. These are topical creams that can help treat localized pain if you have specific parts of your body that tend to experience pain. For people with total body pain this might not be an effective option but for those with certain problem areas it can work as a regular pain-soothing treatment plan.
People who want to avoid taking prescribed medication can also take advantage of options like pain relief injections to treat regional or local pain. There are many different kinds of injections that can help including nerve, epidural, trigger point and radiofrequency injections. Pain relief injections can help treat various conditions such as arthritis, acute injuries and muscle pain, myofascial pain syndrome, headaches and many more.
Another less common type of treatment is the use of neurostimulators which can be used for back, neck, arm or leg pain. It involves the use of implanted electrodes to interrupt nerve signals and alleviate pain. This method doesn’t treat the underlying cause of the pain but simply masks the pain signals before they are able to reach the brain.
Alternative Treatment for Pain
In addition to these more traditional types of treatment plans available from a physician there are also alternative options that people with chronic pain may want to explore. You can combine alternative treatments with more mild pain medications if you are trying to avoid the use of opioids. Combining different therapies may help increase the impact of pain relief.
People with pain problems often see major improvement from therapies like acupuncture and acupressure which work to relieve pain anywhere on the body. Acupuncture and acupressure are very safe therapies that are often effective and completely free from any side effects. Other options can be beneficial for muscle pain like massage therapy.
Chronic pain issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and other back and join conditions can actually be improved by gentle exercises to increase mobility. Movement therapy such as tai chi and yoga can have a positive effect on people with pain issues by helping their bodies to become more flexible, mobile and functional.
Anyone who experiences chronic pain can seek other options so that they don’t have to rely on opioids. Talk to your doctor about alternative medications and treatments for your pain issues.