People who live with chronic pain usually turn to drugs as the only form of pain management. As much as it helps, there are obvious drawbacks. Now there may be new ways to deal with the pain without turning to drugs.
Dealing with chronic pain
There’s a myriad of reasons why people have chronic pain, which is defined as pain that lasts for longer than three weeks. It often starts as an injury, and the pain never quite recedes. Sometimes it’s related to an illness. In all cases, it’s described as continuous and unbearable for the sufferer. It can be accompanied by fatigue, difficulty sleeping, low appetite and depression.
The standard mode for sufferers to deal with the intolerable pain has traditionally been some form of pain medication. Milder cases may be prescribed NSAIDS, while more severe cases may be prescribed opioids. but there are drawbacks to taking these drugs.
First of all, they may become habit-forming, and the patient often develops a tolerance for it, which means he continually needs higher dosages to feel effective pain relief. Opioids are responsible for most of the accidental overdose deaths in the U.S.
Beyond that, some medications can cause kidney damage and internal bleeding, as well as other health risks.
Is there another way for pain management?
There have always been alternative methods for dealing with the pain, some having greater success than others. Today, there are programs all across the States that have taken the most effective forms of drug free pain management and helped thousands of sufferers get off of drugs, get rid of their pain, and move on with their lives.
These are some of the options, often mixed together for a full program of relief:
Physical therapy – a physical therapist trained in pain management can help the patient use his body the right way to decrease pain at hot points.
Positional release therapy – the therapist positions the body into positions that help the patient achieve the most comfort.
TENS therapy – a trained practitioner applies low amounts of electricity to pain points. This is meant to block nerve impulses which is how the patient feels pain, and thereby decrease it
Mind/body training – physical pain can be compounded by the psychological adjuncts that go along with it. A psychologist, counselor or social worker can work with a patient to ease any anxiety or depression and help him to accept the pain, which often helps to decrease it in the process.
Acupuncture – similar to electrical therapy, the practitioner inserts needles which somehow “confuse” the nerve cells and override the normal impulses.
Spiritual and religious work – when a patient has a higher calling to live for, she can often rise above the pain and see it in a different light.
Putting it all together
Most drug free pain management programs put together a customized plan for each individual that comprises several of the modalities, and the patient goes through a full schedule at a clinic. Many patients are now free from drugs, and they claim they are also finally pain-free after all of these years.
At Sinai Post Acute Care Rehabilitation, we work with our patients to develop the right pain management schedule to feel comfortable physically and emotionally. Speak to one of our representatives today to find out how we can help you.