10 Oct Alternative Choices to Opioid Pain Relief
The Opioid epidemic that is plaguing our country has to be recognized and considered in how we responsibly move forward with pain relief. It is essential that we all come to realize that a “quick fix” is not always the best fix. There are great alternatives to opioids that we all need to be aware of and consider in our quest for pain management.
Acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, is another common and effective pain reliever. It is recommended as a first-line of treatment by the American College of Rheumatology.
Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
These are more potent than acetaminophen, but also available in over-the-counter dosage. Higher doses can be taken with a prescription. NSAIDs include anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Aleve. The downside to these drugs, for older patients, is a risk of organ toxicity, kidney or liver failure, and ulcers.
Steroids inhibit injured nerves to provide pain relief. Drawbacks include the potential to accelerate joint destruction. Other side effects can include immune system suppression, gastrointestinal issues, and psychiatric effects.
Serotonin and Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
These antidepressants are appropriate for treating nerve, muscular and skeletal pain. Antidepressants can also help people sleep. They offer help without the side effects of opioids.
This treatment uses implanted electrodes to interrupt nerve signals. This does not cure what is causing the pain but stops the pain signals before they reach the brain. It can be used for back, neck, arm, or leg pain. Trials are currently underway to test their effectiveness on headaches.
Traditionally used to treat epilepsy, anticonvulsants can also relieve neuropathic pain by suppressing pain signals from the brain.
PT requires more work from the patient (attending sessions as well as following up at home with recommended exercises) but is often essential to improving physical healing and relieving pain long-term.
Massage, Acupuncture and Chiropractic Care
Some report these methods are just as effective, if not more effective, than medications. Plus, they are safe and free of side effects.
The highly regarded and professional team at Integrated Pain Consultants is here to help. Pain physicians, many with double board certification, are trained in every aspect of pain management. Integrated Pain Consultants is in existence because of the need for safe and effective pain control. Call Integrated Pain Consultants at (480) 626-2552 or better yet, book your pain management consultation online. We’re here to help.