Managing Pain Without Opioid Painkillers
With the news about the dangers of opioids and opioid addiction becoming a constant in our daily lives, it’s no surprise that more patients and doctors are searching for effective alternatives to these powerful pain medications.
While certainly effective painkillers, opioids are highly addictive and are linked to tens of thousands of overdose deaths every year. It’s an important conversation to have with your doctor when deciding which painkiller is right for you following surgery or to relieve ongoing pain from a chronic medical condition.
There are Pain Management Options:
Before filing a prescription for an opioid medication, talk to your doctor about these alternatives:
- Acetaminophen – Also known as Tylenol, is an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- NSAIDs – Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain relievers (ibuprofen) such as Advil and Aleve. NSAIDs are usually more powerful than acetaminophen. High doses can be prescribed by a doctor.
- Corticosteroids – Prescribed steroids which inhibit affected nerves to provide pain relief.
- Injections – This includes nerve blocks, epidural injections, trigger point injections. Injecting pain medication into the source of the pain is used to treat arthritis, muscle pain, and headaches.
- Certain anti-depressants and anticonvulsants can be prescribed to treat certain pain conditions.
- Physical therapy – promotes healing and pain relief by strengthening muscles and joints.
- Alternative therapies including acupuncture, chiropractic and massage therapy can be as effective (if not more so) as pain medication for certain muscular and chronic pain conditions.
Educate yourself on your options for pain management. Work together with your doctor to find the safest and most effective pain relief option possible.
- Opiate alternatives - https://drugabuse.com/opiate-alternatives-doctors-got-a-brand-new-bag/
- 6 alternatives to opioids for pain - https://www.goodrx.com/blog/6-alternatives-to-opioids-for-pain/
- Treatment options for chronic pain - https://www.asra.com/page/46/treatment-options-for-chronic-pain