Living with chronic pain can be both physically and emotionally exhausting. It’s not surprising that more Americans than ever before are looking for ways to get some relief. With over 40 million people across the county currently dealing with opioid addiction, pain sufferers are looking for other treatment options.
For many years, the pain from injury or illness was masked using powerful narcotic medications. Although these pain relievers can be very effective, they come with many risks. Treating and managing chronic pain with a more natural approach is a safer and more preferable path for most people.
There are many treatment options that qualify as non-surgical help for pain. The treatment that works the best for you will be specific to your current pain management needs. You may benefit from chiropractic treatment and massage or you may have success with alternative therapies like Acupuncture and Yoga.
There are several reasons why professionals in the healthcare industry are starting to see a shifting trend from prescriptions to natural therapies for chronic pain. In fact, many doctors and therapists are starting to move away from blanket pain management strategies to helping their patients find less risky treatments that will work for them.
In the U.S., there are currently over 40 million people over the age of 12 that suffer from opioid addiction. Although these numbers do include those who use Heroin, they are still reflective of the high numbers of patients that have become addicted to their pain medication.
Heroin is an illicit opioid, but more than three-quarters of addicts started out with prescription medications. On the flip side of that, nearly 60% of addicts have admitted to trying heroin as a pain reliever. The dangers of both prescription medications and heroin can not be overstated. Thousands of lives are lost each year in an attempt to get relief from chronic pain.
For pain medication addicts, it’s all about getting a rest from the constant discomfort; add to that the physical and physiological issues of addiction and it’s not hard to see why addicts often turn to illegal drugs. In many cases, addicts will be cut off from their doctors or find that they can no longer afford their medications. In these cases, it doesn’t take long until many people stray to less legal means to find what they need.
Prescription drug addiction affects every aspect of society. These highly addictive medications can quickly take over anyone’s life. Most people become addicted much faster than they would have thought possible. In many cases, after one round of powerful prescription medication, patients find that they are already reliant. As addiction awareness becomes more widespread, chronic pain sufferers are more reluctant to start using opioids as their only treatment.
The sad irony with many opioid medications is that they work like a charm. They work on the nervous system receptors in the brain and mask pain along with providing a euphoric effect. When you are dealing with constant discomfort that is affecting your ability to function in your life, getting rid of the pain quickly seems like a great solution.
Unfortunately, when you are no longer in pain, you are not as desperate to fix the problem causing the pain. Prescription pain medications do nothing to actually treat the source of your pain, they just cover it up. Temporary pain relief can quickly turn into a dangerous crutch while the injury or other cause of the pain is never properly treated.
Along with the risk of addiction, when you start using opioids to manage your pain, this class of medications comes with a long list of dangerous side effects. Long term use of pain medications can cause liver disease, impaired mental state, respiratory, and cardiovascular issues. Natural therapies carry little to no long term side effects.
Some of the most devastating “side effects” from taking prescription pain medications are not medically related. When patients become addicted to their medications it can have a powerfully negative effect on all aspects of their lives including their careers, education and personal relationships.
Pain medications in the opioid class can come with an extravagant price tag. For many, the cost is overwhelming once an addiction sets in. Many addicts will do anything to get their hands on their next prescription, including committing illegal acts. In many cases, when the price gets unmanageable, prescription addicts will turn to illegal opioids like heroin because they are more affordable and easier to get.
There is no denying that living with chronic pain can be unbearable. This makes any solution that gives some relief seem like a ray of hope. As more people become educated about the risks of opioid medications they are looking for natural alternatives to give them relief from their chronic pain.