This may come as a surprise, but nearly 40 million adults in the United States suffer from severe bouts of chronic pain. With the number steadily growing, it’s no wonder that narcotics are in such high demand. However, some of the most prevalent drugs on the market for severe chronic pain management are also some of the most addictive.
The Popular Treatment Method and its Drawbacks
The most popular way to treat severe chronic pain seems to be clinical. Clinical treatments encompass all forms of medicine that can be found over-the-counter or prescribed/administered by a physician.
Medication for severe chronic pain comes in many forms, whether oral, topical or interventional. In fact, the most widely accessible forms of clinical treatments for severe chronic pain can include ointments and creams, pills, injections, patches, or even drink mixes— most of which are highly effective and safe.
Unfortunately, there are some clinical treatments for severe chronic pain that are just as addictive as they are effective. These medications are usually opioids, which are known to fight pain by inducing calming and even pleasurable sensations in the brain. The types of painkillers most likely to be abused are the ones that include fentanyl, stadol (butorphanol), oxycodone, hydrocodone-acetaminophen, and other similar narcotics as their active ingredient. In 2015, 2 million Americans were recorded as having developed an addiction to prescription opioid painkillers.
This begs the question: can severe chronic pain be managed without the risk of developing an addiction to painkillers? The answer: absolutely.
What is Severe Chronic Pain?
When treating any condition, it is critical to understand just what the condition is. Pain can be broken down into one of two forms: acute or chronic. Acute pain is a temporary sensation that brings attention to a sudden injury, like a bruise or a broken bone. Chronic pain is categorized as any pain that lasts longer than 12 weeks and can fall on a spectrum of mild to severe.
Severe chronic pain can occur in anyone and is usually the result of an injury that has not healed properly or completely. However, severe chronic pain could also be the result of a pre-existing chemical imbalance that leaves the brain’s pain receptors especially sensitive.
In any case, everyone who suffers from severe chronic pain experiences it differently. Understanding an individual’s pain and its underlying cause helps to pinpoint the best method of maintaining relief on a day-to-day basis.
A Brief Look Into Holistic Medicine
There are a wide variety of holistic treatments that have been proven to be just as effective as clinical medications in the battle against severe chronic pain— and all without the risk of developing a dangerous addiction.
Holistic medicine dates all the way back to the 4th century and is steadily growing in popularity in the United States. It differs from other forms of medicine in three distinct ways.
Firstly, holistic treatments work to improve the patient’s overall health instead of treating only the most prominent illness. The physical health, mental state, emotional state and even spiritual wellbeing of the patient are taken into account and nursed in equal parts in any holistic treatment plan. This is especially good for anyone dealing with severe chronic pain since it boosts morale and encourages balance. Extra benefits of holistic treatments for severe chronic pain include better sleep habits and reduced stress.
Secondly, most forms of holistic medicine are non-invasive, meaning that patients will not have to take tablets or receive injections. The most recognized holistic treatments are as follows:
- Herbal medicine
- Naturopathic medicine
- Nutritional therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
Lastly, patients undergoing holistic treatments will likely have regular exercise or physical therapy as part of their regimen. In addition, holistic patients usually follow healthy diets that work to optimize nutrition and cleanse the body of “pollutants.” These lifestyle adjustments contribute greatly to the maintained relief of patients who (used to) suffer from chronic pain.
Effective Severe Chronic Pain Management
Severe chronic pain is a condition that can make life extremely difficult if left ignored. Thankfully, there are various but equally effective means of treating it without running the risk of developing a dependence on narcotics. If you have any questions about severe chronic pain and addiction or would like information about our tailored-to-you treatment programs, please contact Wellness Retreat Recovery Center at 888-821-0238. We offer treatment for prescription medication addiction as well as comprehensive care for underlying conditions that can contribute to medication dependence.