8 Solutions for Chronic Pain Management Without Opioids
The opioid epidemic in the United States is a real concern that every citizen should be aware of. In 2015, 20,101 people lost their lives to opioid pain reliever related overdoses, according the American Society of Addiction Medicine. There are many facets to the opioid crisis that the American people face. One of the aspects that will likely need to be addressed is turning to opioid pain relievers as opposed to alternative methods of pain management. Chronic pain management without opioids can be done through non-opioid based medications and through an alternative non-pharmacological approach.
In this article, we will explore what strong pain relief alternative to opiates there are.
The American College of Rheumatology recommends this over-the-counter medication. It is one of the most commonly used options for chronic pain management without opioids.
Norepinephrine and Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Skeletal, muscular and diabetic neuropathy pain is commonly treated with this anti-depressant. It inhibits norephinephrine and serotonin, helping to treat nerve pain. They also help people get to sleep and cope with anxiety. Unlike opioids and opiates, there is no addictive downside making it an excellent alternative for chronic pain management without opioids.
Nostreroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs
Also known as NSAIDs, it is another over-the-counter medication that is one of the alternatives to opiates for pain management. At higher doses, it needs a prescription. By combining them with opioids, the opioid dosage can be reduced. Complications with the medication can arise the older the person is.
Localized pain can be managed through topical medications such as capsicin and lidocaine. It can be used regularly for persistent pain or once off. The only real downside to this strong pain relief alternative to opiates is that it only treats localized pain.
Gentle exercises have been a proven to be effective at treating several forms of chronic pain including arthritis, joint pain and fibromyalgia among others. Mobility can also be improved along with the other benefits that regular exercise can give a person. The types of gentle exercises include yoga and tai chi. In some cases, alternative pain therapy such as these options can be as beneficial as medications.
This FDA-approved method of pain management that is effective in areas such as the back, arms, neck and legs. The medication interrupts the nerve signals in order to provide pain relief. New studies are being conducted to see how effective this drug is at treating headaches.
While not usually recommended due to the many side effects, steroids can help to treat the pain caused by injured nerves. However, once treatment stops, the pain quickly returns and often causes further damage. Other side effects include immune system suppression, psychiatric side effects and an impaired response to stress.
Acupuncture, Massage and Other Alternative Options
The non-pharmaceutical options provide people with alternatives to opiates for pain management, especially when combined with other safe pharmaceutical options. Spinal manipulation, acupuncture and acupressure are among the options in chronic pain management without opioids. These options are especially useful during recovery from an opioid addiction when chronic pain is still present.
Dealing with pain during recovery from addiction to opioids can be difficult, but with these alternatives, it can be managed effectively. If you need to find help for yourself or a loved one going through an opioid addiction while suffering from chronic pain, contact the White Sands Treatment Centers at (877) 855-3470 today.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Treatment Center at (877) 855-3470. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.