04 Sep Non-opioid options for managing chronic pain
Patients taking prescription opioid drugs have to switch to other pain relievers when they cut down or stop taking opioids. The following options that alone or in combination may be helpful.
Cold and heatCold can be useful to relieve an injury pain, decrease inflammation and muscle spasms, and speeds up recovery. Heat raises your pain threshold and relaxes muscles.
ExercisePhysical exercises and activities , despite some pain, can play a helpful role for people with some of the more common pain conditions, including low back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Weight lossMany painful health conditions are worsened by excess of weight. It makes sense, then, that losing weight can help to relieve some kinds of pain.
Physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT)PT helps to restore or maintain walking ability. OT helps improve your ability to perform activities of daily life, such as dressing, bathing, and eating.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)This technique employs a very mild electrical current to block pain signals going from the body to the brain.
IontophoresisThis form of electrical stimulation is used to deliver medications into areas of pain and reduce inflammation.
UltrasoundThis therapy directs sound waves into the targeted tissue. It is sometimes used to improve blood circulation, decrease inflammation, and promote healing.
Cold laser therapyCold laser therapy, also called low-level laser therapy, is FDA-approved to treat pain conditions. The cold laser emits pure light of a single wavelength that is absorbed into an injured area with the object to reduce inflammation and stimulate tissue repair.
Mind-body techniquesMind and body are a large and diverse group of procedures which help healing patients in new and different ways along with minimal medication. They are administered or taught by a trained practitioner. Examples include,
- Progressive muscle relaxation.
- Breathing exercises.
- Hypnosis therapy.
- Yoga and tai chi.