Because of the risk of addiction that comes with opioid use, many people search for holistic alternatives opioids for chronic pain management.
Opioids and Chronic Pain
Chronic pain is incredibly prevalent among Americans. The implications of this create a huge strain on our healthcare and financial resources. According to a 2018 study by the NCBI, approximately 100 million Americans experience chronic pain each day, which costs an estimated $600 billion in lost productivity and healthcare expenses annually.
In our current state, medical providers continue to prescribe patients various opioids such as Fentanyl, Oxycodone, Codeine and more. While these medications are extremely helpful for managing severe pain, they can lead to addiction when used for long term pain management.
Opioid dependence most commonly arises when prescribed for acute pain management after surgeries, car accidents, etc. Even when prescribed for short term treatment, people can develop an addiction because they depend on opioids to help alleviate pain. They’re an easy and effective means to manage serious pain. However, not everyone is able to transition from medications to alternative pain management strategies.
As the opioid epidemic continues to ravage Americans, medical professionals are encouraging their patients to seek alternative long term management approaches.
Alternative and Holistic Pain Management Strategies
For people struggling with addiction or long term opioid use for chronic pain management, there’s a couple of holistic approaches for treatment. Some of the therapeutic and pharmacological treatments include:
- Acetaminophen (e.g. tylenol)
- Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (e.g., Aspirin, Ibuprofen)
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Rehabilitation therapy
- Physical activity
- Heat and cold treatments (e.g. cryotherapy)
- Radiofrequency ablation
- Neuromodulation (e.g. nerve stimulation)
- Functional Medicine and Nutrition
Mindfulness in particular can help people increase their pain tolerance naturally.
One of the most difficult transitions someone can make in life is learning to utilize alternative forms of pain management. Make sure you consult with a medical professional if you’re interested in learning about different types of pain management.
If you or your loved one is struggling with pain management and need an alternative, holistic based treatment, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our approach to pain management.