Safer Pain Management Methods

Many people have acute or chronic pain. Spinal conditions, such as neck and lower back pain, contribute to significant numbers of people with different levels of discomfort. This article will address safe alternative treatment options to fight our opioid epidemic nations for pain-andnon-drug options.

We all know that pain sufferers can take different steps to gain relief. The condition heals tends to work most of the time for minor aches and pains. A person may occasionally use an over – the-counter medication, a topical ointment, or a cold pack or heating pad to help return to comfort.

Many seek care from a medical practitioner when discomfort becomes more intense and possibly unbearable. These types of health care providers may recommend a prescription drug treatment. Alternative treatment options are also available for pain such as chiropractic care, massage, physical and acupuncture therapy.

Patients and their healthcare providers should work together to find pain control requirements for each individual. We all know that there has been and is being used a type of medication called opioids for pain control. Opioids are commonly used in others such as percocet, oxycodone, hydrocodone. These types of medicines were originally intended for people with intractable pain such as terminal cancer patients. These drugs tend to be addictive. Unfortunately, these drugs have also been prescribed for those suffering discomfort that might be handled through other means.

Overuse and abuse of opioids in the United States has taken a serious toll on the lives of tens of thousands. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) notes that as many as one in four patients receiving long-term prescription opioids for non-cancer pain are struggling with addiction in primary care settings. Over 1000 people are treated daily for misuse of prescription opioids in emergency rooms.

There has been a lot of research to look for non-pharmacological alternatives to pain control. In 2017, the American College of Physicians recommended using noninvasive, nondrug treatments before resorting to pharmaceutical therapies. The American Medical Association and the CDC also called for pain management using non-pharmacological approaches.

Experts have noted that chiropractors, massage therapists, physical therapists, and acupuncturists have been successful in providing patients with relief from their desired discomfort. Approaches used by these types of practitioners may not only ease pain, but may also correct the original cause of the condition and encourage healing.

In addressing the opioid epidemic, the state of West Virginia should be commended for being in the vanguard. Governor Jim Justice signed into law, effective June 7, 2018, Senate Bill 273, “Reducing Use of Certain Prescription Drugs.” This law requires insurance companies to cover 20 visits to alternative therapies such as chiropractic care, massage therapy, physical therapy and acupuncture as a non-pharmacological treatment approach for pain sufferers. In addition, patients will not require a referral to access alternative therapies from a PCP or other practitioner.

Because scientific research recommends non – pharmacological, non – invasive pain control methods, it seems wise for other states and even the federal government to adopt safer pain control and management methods.

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