Each day, across this country, about 20 percent of the patients a physician sees are due to struggles with chronic pain. While the medical community once revered drugs like morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycontin as the holy grail for fast relief, recent knowledge has caused doctors to look for alternative remedies.
The increase of addictions and deaths with those who use these medications has played a significant part in the opioid crisis. Though they are thought of as effective pain relievers, the side and long-term effects cannot be ignored. In the past two decades, we can see and identify the true nature of these medications.
It’s easy to be unrealistic when you are dealing with chronic pain issues. People take one pill and expect their discomfort to go away completely. The medication can only reduce agony by about a third of its original state. While the medicine provides enough for people to function, their pain doesn’t ever truly go away.
Additionally, you must understand that pain and tissue damage are two different things. If you have pain that is caused by tissue damage, then opioids can help. However, it doesn’t do that good when someone is dealing with neuropathic pain that is created from nerve damage. So what is a person supposed to take to get pain relief that isn’t habit-forming and won’t cause significant side effects?
There aren’t many prescription medications for pain that don’t tend to cause addiction. However, you can look to over-the-counter varieties to help. Acetaminophen is an excellent medication that is great for relieving aching joints. It helps to reduce inflammation in the body as well as help with colds and flu symptoms. The side effect profile is slim, and it’s considered a safe treatment for pain. The only downside is that constant use can cause liver damage that is not reversible.
Another option for fast pain relief is Ibuprofen or the NSAID drug line. Several brand names are easily found on the shelves at any store. People turn to these medications for back pain, muscle sprains, headaches, and just about any pain out there. It’s common to find strengths in 200-300 milligrams over the counter, but a doctor can prescribe them in strengths of up to 800 mg. Some say they work just as good as opioids, but they don’t have all the side effects. Plus, these drugs are not habit-forming. They do a great job of reducing inflammation in the body, which helps bring relief.
Though the side effects of NSAIDs are not as severe as opioids, they still can cause some issues. For instance, a person who takes these drugs chronically can develop ulcers, develop heartburn, and they can cause kidney damage. Also, they increase the chances of having a stroke or heart disease with long term use.
There is a newer product that is an NSAID, but It’s a little different to other drugs in this category. The COX-2 inhibitor is a good choice for those who have gastric problems with traditional NSAID drugs. It does have the smallest risk of developing gastrointestinal problems, but it has an increased risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Some say that it’s a little stronger than other drugs in its class, but it’s not habit-forming and a great option for pain.
No rule says that you must pop a pill when you are in chronic pain. Sometimes, the best way to get over pain issues is by working those strained muscles and hurting joints. An exercise is an excellent option that can help to raise serotonin levels in the brain and bring about relief. It may be uncomfortable at first, but many find that by stretching their muscle range and working those sensitive parts, the body activates its healing properties and rushes to those sites to help.
Chiropractic care is another option that uses gentle manipulations of the spine to bring relief. This holistic option is well used by those with chronic back and neck pain. Putting the body back into perfect alignment can work wonders for constant pain.
Freeing Yourself From an Opioid Addiction
Did you know that one in four people in this country struggle with an opioid addiction? Are you one of them? There is a way to deal with your chronic pain without being addicted to prescription medications. We want to help you get on the right track and get your pain and addiction under control. If you would like to find out more about how our Southern Florida center can help, then call us today at 800-737-0933.