February 8, 2023
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Millions of opioid prescriptions are written every year in the US to treat persistent pain. They have the potential to be an effective Pain Relief treatment for some people if administered properly. Nonetheless, opioid addiction has serious health hazards. Increased oversight and revised opioid prescribing standards have resulted from public anxiety over the spread of opioid addiction. As a result of the opioid crisis plaguing the United States, doctors and patients alike are looking for alternatives to prescription opioids.
Medication alternatives to opioids for the treatment of pain
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS; e.g., naproxen or ibuprofen) or acetaminophen are available without a prescription and may be sufficient for some patients experiencing pain. Still others may discover, with the help of their doctors, that NSAIDs, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants available only with a prescription alleviate their pain.
It is possible to utilise anticonvulsants (medications used to treat seizures) to alleviate pain. When taken, they prevent specific kinds of nerve impulses from being sent. This can lessen the discomfort felt by patients with neuropathic conditions, such as diabetic neuropathy or trigeminal neuralgia. Both gabapentin and pregabalin, which are anticonvulsants, are frequently prescribed for pain management.
Pain can also be alleviated with the help of topical medications. These pharmaceuticals come in topical forms such as lotions, creams, and patches. Several are available without a doctor’s prescription and others require one. Depending on the active ingredient, they may have multiple modes of action. Some, like trolamine salicylate, can be rubbed into the skin to provide pain relief. Ingredients like capsaicin, used in several topical analgesics, can also alter how the body interprets pain.
Treatments for chronic pain that intervene
A pain specialist can work with you to devise a pain management strategy that will alleviate your suffering without the use of opioids or other medications. Intervention pain procedures are minimally invasive outpatient procedures used by pain experts to manage chronic pain. Effective therapy options that can provide significant pain relief include joint injections, nerve blocks, and minimally invasive treatments like kyphoplasty and spinal cord stimulators. These operations are typically done in an outpatient facility so the patient can go home the same day. Oftentimes, individuals report feeling better from their chronic pain symptoms soon after their operation.
Therapies that don’t rely on the body
Some patients prefer to collaborate with their doctors to try drug-free treatments for chronic pain, like massage, acupuncture, and physical activity. Pain can be alleviated via the practise of stretching, strengthening exercises, and low-impact activities like walking and swimming. In fact, many people with arthritis and fibromyalgia report that even mild exercise helps ease their joint discomfort.
There are alternatives to opioids for non narcotic pain relief, regardless of the cause of your chronic pain. Make an appointment with your primary care physician or a board certified pain specialist to learn more and explore treatment choices that may be suited for you.