Every year, millions of American suffer from chronic pain. Some of them go through severe headaches, neck pain, back pain, etc., while some are trying hard to recover from surgery, sports injuries and accidents. As long as treatments are considered, thousands of medical experts go for various medications that include power opiates. However, very few people are aware of the dangerous side effects of these drugs. Among all, addiction is the greatest enemy.
The good news is that several non-opiate treatments are available to treat pain that includes over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen. Such therapies also include non-narcotic remedies like massages, yoga, and acupuncture. Fortunately, with the rise of tech, treatments with radio waves and electrical signals are also making their presence known.
If you are suffering from chronic pain and looking for non-opiate treatments, our pain experts of Arizona can work it out with you and get you a safe and highly-effective pain management routine.
This guide will take you through some of the best pain relief options when you cut back or entirely stop consuming opiates. The below-given options alone, or combined, can help you develop a proper, non-narcotic pain relief plan.
Massages are useful for relaxing the affected area that includes tendons, joints, and painful muscles. With the ability to impend pain messages from the brain, therapeutic messages can provide relief from stress and anxiety.
These are one of the most common ways to relieve chronic pain and are practised by hospital-based pain clinics. Such type of mind-body techniques include the following:
- Progressive muscle relaxation
- Hypnosis therapy
- Breathing exercises
Weight Loss Program
Weight is neglected by many. No matter what kind of pain you are going through, excessive weight can make it worse. Losing weight can offer relief in such cases.
In ultrasound methods, experts direct sound waves directly on the affected tissues. This is done to reduce the inflammation, encourage healing and improve blood circulation in the body.
Cold And Heat
When you apply an ice pack right after the injury, it relieves pain and reduces inflammation. It also promotes speedy recovery by reducing muscle spasms. On the other hand, heat therapy is useful for relaxing your muscles and increasing the pain threshold.
Iontophoresis is a type of electrical stimulation. This is the artificial way of driving medications into the affected areas and cutting down the inflammation.
Yoga And Thai Chi
This is the type of mind-body technique. In Yoga and Thai Chi, the following activities are practised:
- Muscle strengthening
- Breath control
- Body movements
This is the technique where the machine assists the patient to take control of their body, including chronic pain.
In acupuncture, extremely fine needles are inserted in the skin of the patients at some specific body points. This leads to the release of endorphins that eventually reduces pain. So that you know, endomorphin is the natural chemical used by the body to kill the pain. It also interferes with the chemical called serotonin that dictates the mood.
Topical Pain Relievers
Topical ointments or creams are applied to the affected area to reduce pain. In most of the cases, these are applied with the ongoing medication. In some scenarios, they can be used as an alternative.
The professionals practise psychotherapy to reframe the negative thinking related to pain. This has positive effects on your productivity, relationships, work-life and more.
Cold Laser Therapy
Cold laser therapy is also known as low-laser therapy. This FDA approved pain relief technique is used to emit laser beams on the affected area to reduce inflammation and promote tissue recovery.
Physical Therapy or Occupational Therapy
Physical therapy (aka PT) is effective in restoring your ability to work and move without any hassle. On the other hand, occupational therapy (aka OT) helps you perform day-to-day activities with ease. Such activities include bathing, dressing, eating, and so on.
Exercises help you stay active despite the pain. This plays a significant role in relieving common painful ailments such as lower back pain, neck pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Professional chiropractic experts help you with correcting body’s alignment. This results in reducing pain and promotes healing.
Many pain management devices are available in the market these days. They support painful joints and release the pressure on affected areas. Ultimately, they relax your body and reduce stress and anxiety. Some examples of such devices are braces, walkers, splints, shoe orthotics, crutches, and canes.
Over The Counter Medicines
This means the pain killers that you can buy at a drugstore without any prescription such as acetaminophen (Tylenol). Plus, this includes several non-steroidal drugs that come with anti-inflammatory properties. Some of the examples of such drugs are:
- naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
These medicines are effective when you are suffering from mild to moderate pain.
Corticosteroid injections are used very occasionally by medical experts. They help to lessen pain and inflammation that is caused by problems like arthritis and sciatica.
Herbal or Nutritional Pain Relievers
Used very rarely, herbal or nutritional pain relievers improve healing by reducing inflammation.
Non-opioid prescription drugs
When it comes to condition-specific pain, some medications can prove to be the game-changers. For example, if you are suffering from migraine headaches, triptans are effective. Similarly, gabapentin (Neurontin) or pregabalin (Lyrica) is excellent for nerve pain.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
This method uses a very slight amount of electric current to block the pain signals that the body sends to the brain.
When all the medications fail, surgery can be performed to regulate the abnormalities in the body and target the very root of the pain.
Spinal Cord Stimulation
Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) makes use of a pacemaker-like device that replaces the pain signals with more tolerable sensations. These sensations are like tingling or massage-like. In this method, a device is connected to the patient’s lower back area. When he or she feels the pain, remote control can be used to replace pain with sensations in the affected area.