Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain every day. Whether you work from home, at a hospital, in a factory or office, or are a U.S. veteran, you deserve to live your life pain free. Unfortunately, the United States in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Drugs like OxyContin and Fentanyl are overprescribed for a wide-range of non-cancerous conditions, leading to addiction, ruined lives, hospitalization, and even death.
Medical professionals believe the solution is to recognize that drugs are not the answer, that painkillers should not be a first response, and in many cases, never used at all. Through a combination of treatments, rather, pain may be managed so that victims can enjoy their lives without the worry of addiction and the downward spiral it often causes.
Why opioids are not a solution for long term chronic pain
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), chronic pain is pain that, “…lasts or recurs for more than 3 to 6 months.” The NCBI estimates that around 20 percent of people worldwide suffer from some type of chronic pain. While opioids may seem like an easy fix, new research shows that they should be avoided when it comes to treating non-cancerous pain.
The National Institutes of Health has found that when taken over a short period of time, opioids can be helpful in treating pain. However, the longer they are used, the greater the risk of addiction, disorder, abuse, and giving the drugs to others.
Furthermore, long-term daily use can lead to physical dependence, which should not be confused with addiction. Physical dependence means your body has become accustomed to the daily dose of painkiller. When you stop, your body then goes through withdrawal and you may experience muscle and bone pain, insomnia, restlessness, diarrhea, cold flashes, restless leg movements, and vomiting. If larger doses are taken, or the drug is taken with alcohol, hospitalization or death may occur.
Alternatives to opioids and rehab
If you suffer from chronic pain, opioid alternatives should always be considered first. Non-opioid treatments are often more effective and lead to a higher quality of life. Some of the most common painkiller alternatives for pain management include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories — Since pain is often caused by inflammation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin, and Excedrin can be very effective.
- Physical therapy — Physical therapists may use a variety of treatments and programs to target pain, including ultrasound, and deep tissue massages, water pools, and whirlpools.
- Acupuncture — Many chronic pain sufferers report success through acupuncture. This ancient practice involves tapping needles into your skin to interrupt pain receptors.
- Surgery — Depending on the cause of your pain, surgery may be used to reduce pressure, repair damage, or correct abnormalities.
- Injections or nerve blocks — Injections with local anesthetics or other medications can help limit pain when muscle spasms or nerve damage is the culprit.
Big Pharma is making an enormous profit from the addiction and suffering of Americans. If you suffer from chronic pain, look for an opioid alternative before you help line the pockets of pharmaceutical companies that only care about their bottom line.
Experienced opioid lawyers advocate for your rights
The Bertling Law Group comprises a team of experienced and passionate medical malpractice attorneys who are focused on helping victims find justice. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a knowledgeable attorney today, contact us at 844-295-7558.