Managing Pain Using Non-Opioid Treatment Options

Almost every one of us goes through physical pain at some point in life. Some experience headache, some back pain, and some are recovering from surgery or injuries caused by an accident. Every day, countless medicines are prescribed to patients to treat their pain. And they are advised to take medications using pill reminder app to avoid missing doses. Though great for pain relief, many of these opioids can cause side effects and addiction in patients. However, there are numerous non-opioid options available to cure pain, including over-the-counter medicines, massages, acupuncture, radio waves, etc.

In case you’re in pain but don’t want to take opioids, below are some options that you can work with to build up a compelling pain management plan.

Over the Counter Pain Medications

There are many over-the-counter medications available for pain relief but these are the ones that patients find most useful:

Acetaminophen

A common OTC drug with Tylenol as the active ingredient. Acetaminophen is often prescribed to cure moderate to severe back pain and manage osteoarthritis. Unlike many OTC drugs, acetaminophen doesn’t cause stomach or heart problems. However, overdosing on acetaminophen can be damaging to the liver.

Anticonvulsants

This OTC drug suppresses pain signals from the brain and is a great option to alleviate neuropathic pain. Anticonvulsants can also address chronic pain caused by diseases like diabetes, shingles, and fibromyalgia. The efficiency of anticonvulsants makes them the first line treatment for neuropathic pain.

It is still unclear how well they work because some patients find them extremely helpful while others experience no improvement at all.

Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids or steroids are great for treating both severe and chronic pain as they have the ability to suppress the activity of immune cells. They are utilized to treat patients with joint pain, back injuries, nerve pain, and cancer. However, they also have a drawback and can damage your joints.

Besides, these meds can cause you to gain weight, suffer from high blood pressure, and weaken your immune system. Taking low dosages and utilizing creams only at the site of pain instead of relieving it with pills can avert these symptoms.

Injections

Injections are great for treating several types of pain. Arthritis, injuries, headaches, muscle pain, are just few to name. The numbing medication in injections blocks or diminishes the pain, and can also stop chronic pain from growing. For lasting relief, a series of injections will be required.

PAIN MANAGEMENT WITHOUT USING DRUGS

If you don’t like taking medications using medication reminder app, there are many non-drug pain management techniques that you can choose. In fact, many patients find relief with those techniques which can be used alone as well as in combination with other medications. The most common non-drug pain management options include:

Acupuncture

It is a pain management technique which involves insertion of needles into the skin at specific points. Acupuncture manages pain by releasing endorphins which are body’s natural pain-killing chemicals. It may also influence serotonin – a brain chemical which contributes to happiness and wellbeing.

Exercise

Exercise is very important for people suffering from chronic pain. Staying physically active can be very helpful for individuals carrying common pain conditions such as low back pain, arthritis, etc.

Doing light exercise may help patients improve their condition.

Meditate

Meditation is another excellent pain management option without using drugs. There are many methods to meditate. A simple method involves choosing a pleasant sound, closing your eyes, sitting or lying in a comfortable place, and repeating the sound in your mind. You can take a slow start and do just a few minutes of meditation per day. After getting into the routine, the time period can be increased gradually.

Guided meditation is another great way which involves a source providing help with your meditative thoughts. However, you will need to take classes or find DVDs/online videos to avail guidance.

Massage

For some patients, massage is more effective than medication. It helps relieve pain by relaxing sore muscles, tendons, and joints. Also, it is one of the safest pain management options as there are no side effects.

HIGH TECH OPTIONS TO MANAGE CHRONIC PAIN

On chronic pain patients, OTC drugs and non-opioid treatment options have no effect at all. For them, high tech techniques are being developed that will relieve their pain and possibly keep it from coming back.

Some of those techniques include:

Radio Waves

This method involves inserting a needle into the spot where pain originates and burning the cell causing pain using radio waves. Pain relief through this method can last for up to a year.

X-Ray Imaging

This pain management plan uses X-ray imaging and includes physicians injecting numbing medication to block or diminish pain, and to stop its further growth. Only those locations are injected where pain originates. To completely relieve pain, you may require a series of injections. If you have a busy work schedule, you can set reminders on injection times using pill reminder app.

Spinal Cord Stimulation

When everything fails, spinal cord stimulation comes to help. SCS uses a pacemaker-like device to replace pain with a tingling feeling to reduce the agony of the patient. The device comes with remote control and is implanted in the lower back where it is attached to tiny wires located in the spinal canal.

During episodes of pain, patients can use a remote control to send signals to the hurting area. This technique can relieve all types of pain and puts the patient at ease.

Practice Good Sleep Habits

Getting good sleep is more important than anything else to manage pain, so practice good sleep habits to improve your condition. The best way to enjoy a peaceful sleep is to have a quiet and darker room, banning electronics from the room, and getting into the habit of going to bed and getting up on time.

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