Opium is an extract of the poppy plant which was discovered over 3000 years ago. Morphine, one of its compounds, as well as other derivatives and synthetically produced compounds, are used in medical remedies due to its ability to induce pleasure and reduce pain. Whether synthetic or natural, legal or illicit, opioid drugs are effective pain killers but also highly addictive.
In a statement by the US Surgeon general, Opioid-related deaths, mainly from high doses of opioids prescribed for pain, individual misuse of prescribed opioids, the use of illicit opioids such as heroin or fentanyl, were five times higher in 2016 than in 1999. Many of those deaths were unintentional.
According to the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there was an average of 39 deaths daily from overdoses involving prescription opioids in 2019. This comes at a 7% decrease from deaths in 2018 involving the misuse of prescribed pain relievers.
Opioids contain chemicals that act on the nervous system to relax the body and relieve the body of chronic pain, thus its use as a drug. The addiction to opioids is characterized by the compulsive and strong urge to use opioid drugs even when they are no longer required medically.
Although the combinational use of medication, like Naloxone, and psychotherapy proves to be defensive against opioid drug addiction, it is best to manage pain through sustainable pain relief strategies. However, according to the Barnes Firm careers experts, many people who are injured and prescribed opioids struggle to afford alternative treatments and should seek counsel to determine whether they can be compensated for their injuries. With that in mind, we shall discuss 5 alternative rehabilitation tactics to help you avoid opioid usage for your pain relief.
Stretching has proven to increase flexibility and relieve some types of pain. Stretching is a mild form of exercise which helps to keep muscles flexible and relaxed. It also has therapeutic use in the alleviation of cramps. Yoga, a type of stretching exercise, is effective in the treatment of chronic pains like back pain, arthritis, while still improving muscle flexibility, strength, and heart health.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is one of the most effective methods of pain management. It provides a range of chronic pain treatment options like massage, manipulation of joints and bones, manual therapy using hands or tools on soft tissues, cold laser therapy to alleviate pain, microcurrent stimulation, and movement therapy and exercise. Any or combination of these methods can be applied by a physical therapist depending on the person’s pain. Physical therapy can be used to alleviate sources of pain including chronic headaches, Rheumatoid arthritis, Neuropathic pain, fibromyalgia, and osteoarthritis. One of the goals of physical therapy is to help chronic pain patients become stronger and achieve mobility which may have been hindered due to weakness from not moving. In the treatment of chronic pain, the physical therapist considers what may be the cause of the patient’s pain and provides suitable solutions for its minimization.
There is more to Acupuncture than just needles. The theory behind acupuncture centers on two things, the endogenous opiate release, and the down-modulation of sympathetic up-regulation. In simpler terms, it makes the body release its natural pain killers and feel-good chemicals and helps to relax the nervous system. In addition, it helps in circulation and healing of pain. Just like other alternative techniques, acupuncture works by activating the body’s self-healing mechanism. Acupuncture is recognized for the treatment of chronic pain including back and neck pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache, shoulder pain, sciatica, and many more. Acupuncture pins go into muscle tissues to release the stagnation of energy.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain
CBT-CP is a psychological approach to the treatment of chronic pain. The treatment gives a person tools to control the impact of pain on their body and mind. The pain psychologist or trained clinician works with the patient to help them learn how to respond differently to pain. This changes the processing of pain in our brains. It gives a change of mental perspective and behavior in dealing with chronic pain. CBT-CP not only helps in dealing with chronic pain but also helps to improve the quality of life and activities of daily living.
- Medical Marijuana & CBD
There are over 500 chemicals present in the marijuana plant, with the most common being THC and CBD. The use of marijuana has gradually gained acceptance in the medical field for the treatment of diseases and conditions. It has proven to be effective in the treatment of illnesses like Insomnia, Epilepsy, Multiple Sclerosis, and most importantly, Chronic pain and Fibromyalgia. Cannabis works by blocking receptors that promote pain. The blocking of the sensors halts the perception of pain and thereby relieves symptoms.