Everyone experiences occasional aches and pains, but for some people, this pain is a part of their daily lives.
When chronic pain strikes, many people are willing to do anything to finally find relief, but chronic pain management may not be as easy as popping a few pills.
Around 21 to 29% of people prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse these medications and between 8 to 12% will become dependent on them.1 Unfortunately, because of the addictive nature of these drugs, prescription painkillers have been a leading cause of the opioid epidemic in the United States. If you or someone you care about has become dependent on these drugs, do not wait to get prescription drug addiction treatment before your addiction becomes worse. Around 80% of people who abuse heroin first misused prescription opioids.1
How to Manage Chronic Pain Without Painkillers
Many people do not know how to treat chronic pain without the use of painkillers, but for someone who once became addicted to these drugs and went through opioid addiction treatment, these medications may not be an option. Whether you should no longer take opioids or you just want to avoid them altogether, these alternative chronic pain management techniques could be the answer you are looking for.
The last thing you may want to do when dealing with chronic pain is exercise, but exercise can actually help. Research has shown that exercise may be able to reduce the severity of the pain while also improving overall physical function and psychological wellbeing.2 Try something low impact like yoga, walking, swimming, and stretching. You could even look into physical therapy.
There are so many holistic therapies out there that may be able to help you with chronic pain management like movement therapy, chiropractic therapy, tai chi, acupuncture, or aromatherapy. These therapies focus on non-traditional forms of healing that may be just as effective as Western medicines. One study found that acupuncture in particular can be an effective form of treatment for various types of chronic pain and lead to long-lasting results.3 Because of their wide-ranging benefits, we also use many of these holistic therapies for addiction treatment.
Change Your Thinking
Some people believe that chronic pain treatment may just be an issue of mind over matter. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, a type of psychotherapy focused on changing negative thinking, can have positive effects on chronic pain.4 Biofeedback is another therapy that focuses on teaching people how to recognize and eventually control their body’s psychological responses. It too has been shown to lead to an improvement in pain for some patients for both short- and long-term relief.5
Chronic pain and chronic stress overlap in several ways, and there is some evidence to suggest that one may lead to the other, although some of the results are conflicting.6 If you lead a high-stress lifestyle, it could be making your pain worse. Focus on decreasing the amount of stress in your life like taking time to relax, meditating, or journaling, and you may see improvement in your pain.
Managing chronic pain may require several lifestyle changes, but you should not rely solely on prescription opioids because of their addictive nature. If you or someone you care about is abusing these drugs, we can help.
Call us today at 888-280-4763 to get more information about our facility and our programs at Banyan Philadelphia.
Sources & References:
- NIH - Opioid Overdose Crisis
- NCBI - Physical activity and exercise for chronic pain in adults: an overview of Cochrane Reviews
- The Journal of Pain - Acupuncture for Chronic Pain: Update of an Individual Patient Data Meta-Analysis
- APA - Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy for Individuals With Chronic Pain
- PubMed - Efficacy of Biofeedback in Chronic Back Pain: A Meta-Analysis
- NCBI - Chronic Pain and Chronic Stress: Two Sides of the Same Coin?