For people with chronic pain, medication is not always the answer. Pain meds don’t always help relieve pain especially when the pain is chronic. Managing pain without opioids is better in the long run and the patient avoids the risk of dependence.
Patients with substance abuse issues can be treated for pain in a variety of ways that don’t involve opioids. Many treatments for substance abuse work well for chronic pain treatment as well.
Lasting Recovery adheres to a multidisciplinary approach with substance use disorders as well as those who experience chronic pain.
If you have pain, try some of these techniques to manage pain without drugs:
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is superior to placebos and standard care for the treatment of chronic pain. Different parts of your body have different points that refer to other parts of your body. By stimulating one area, you can eliminate pain elsewhere. Acupuncture can help reduce withdrawal symptoms, release pain-relieving endorphins, increase circulation and energy, improve immunity, relax muscles and reduce stress, and much more. The military has used it to help treat pain from war wounds. Acupuncture has been shown to be helpful for pain relief from chronic headaches, backaches and arthritis in a review of more than two dozen studies.
- Massage: Receive a full body massage, which relaxes you, and this will help to eliminate pain all over your body. When pain occurs in our arms or lower back from over use, it is our first instinct to rub those areas because we know massaging helps. When you receive a full body massage from a professional who knows the right techniques, this eliminates pain from different areas of your body.
- Meditation: Relax by lying in a quiet room, and letting your mind focus on something other than the pain. This will greatly reduce your dependence on pain medicines if you are withdrawing. A person can simply listen to music, or try a guided meditation compact disc to begin managing pain without drugs. Guided mediation sessions help us to relax, and by relaxing, we have less stress. Pain within our body feeds off stress. If we lower stress levels, we can manage pain without drugs. Explore the options on YouTube and see which ones are helpful to you.
- Exercise – While it may seem counterintuitive to exercise while in pain, many doctors say in the long run it can help.
- Yoga – Through practicing yoga postures and breathing help strengthen the body with balance, and focus.
- Sleep – A lack of REM sleep makes people more sensitive to pain.
- Supplements – Studies show fish oil, Vitamin B, glucosamine and chondroitin can help against certain types of pain.
- Heat and ice: Apply hot packs or ice packs to head aches instead of managing the pain with drugs. Most headache pain is caused by stress or environmental factors, and does not really need pain medicines. A hot pack such as a rice bag is excellent for the pain associated with migraines or tension headaches.
Even the most careful clinical pain management cannot eliminate risk of opioid misuse in patients with a history of addiction. Good communication, knowledge of non-opioid treatment alternatives and appropriate monitoring and care in structuring opioid management can reduce risk significantly.
If you have additional questions about prescription drug dependency or are feeling isolated and alone with the pain you are experiencing we can help!
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