5 Ways To Manage Chronic Pain Without Narcotic Drugs

by | Jun 23, 2022

Addiction can be a challenging and isolating struggle, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. If you are seeking addiction treatment in Louisville, Kentucky, there is hope.

There are a wide variety of factors that can lead to drug abuse and addiction. It doesn’t always begin with the recreational use of narcotics nor as self-medication without the approval of healthcare specialists. In some cases, it can follow as a result of the reliance on narcotic drugs.

At Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, we aim to help every patient with not just the addiction they might be facing, but also treatments that tackle the underlying and surrounding impacts of drug abuse. This can include chronic pain that might otherwise be treated with narcotics.

About Narcotics And Their Use In Chronic Pain Treatment

Narcotics typically refers to drugs that have a psychoactive compound alongside numbing or paralyzing effects. They are typically used to refer to opiates, such as morphine, heroin, and codeine, as well as opioids. Some narcotics are still typically recommended as a treatment path for dealing with pain, especially chronic pain that greatly decreases one’s quality of life.

However, with narcotic drugs, there always comes a risk of eventual abuse and addiction. It could be as a result of going over the recommended dose to better manage pain or simply as a result of the body developing a dependence on the drugs used. As such, you might want to look at some of the methods of managing chronic pain without having to rely on narcotic drugs.

There are significant problems with our current level of reliance on opiates and opioids. For one, it has been shown in studies that prescription painkillers can make pain worse due to the fact that pain medication can make us more sensitive to pain. The pain receptors increase in number as a corrective measure to the body not feeling its pain signals. Opiates and opioids can also result in other changes to your health and well-being, such as causing problems with your sleep.

While opiates, opioids, and other narcotics may be the best option for some people, it’s important to be aware of the risks. If you’re ever concerned about the risk of addiction, then admission to Louisville Addiction Treatment Center can help you reduce your reliance on them with our range of treatment programs.

5 Ways To Manage Chronic Pain Without Narcotic Drugs

While narcotics can be effective at helping you manage your pain to some degree, it’s a mistake to believe that they are the only strategy that is available to you. Here, we’re going to look at five more options, each of which could be the key to living with a manageable level of pain in the future.

Physical therapy

In many cases, chronic pain, especially when it is related to a specific injury somewhere on the body, can be alleviated by physical therapy. Even basic therapy such as aerobic training and stretching can help you increase your heart rate and improve blood flow, which can make sure oxygen can get around the body while increasing the body’s dose of endorphins and dopamine, which can improve your mood naturally. Strength training and pain relief exercises can also target areas where you have pain, especially, building strength and flexibility. For instance, building muscles in the core is a well-known strategy for reducing lower back pain by ensuring that the spine is supported and doesn’t have to handle the pressure of your weight by itself.

Acupuncture

Despite the fact that it might seem like something of a curiosity to some, there has been plenty of evidence to be able to state that acupuncture is widely accepted as a means of treating chronic pain. Indeed, practitioners will assert there’s nothing out-of-the-ordinary about acupuncture and that it’s simply a means of manipulating bodily processes, such as our own self-healing and pain reduction mechanisms. As such, acupuncture can be found to be an effective form of treatment for back and neck pain, chronic headaches, shoulder pain, and osteoarthritis.

Surgery

In some cases, surgical options may be able to offer some help with chronic pain. However, there are some cases in which it can be a helpful strategy. For instance, joint replacements, such as hip and knee replacements, have been used to treat pain related to arthritis for some time. In other cases, relieving compression in the nerves of the spine can reduce back pain. It’s important to talk to your doctor about any surgery options as well as expectations for outcomes, however. Many will find that surgery might offer years of relief but may not be a permanent solution.

Injections/nerve blocks

As well as treating the source of the pain, there is also the option to treat your body’s ability to feel that pain in the first place. In some cases, for instance, there are injections with local anesthetics or other kinds of medication that can effectively short-circuit the body’s pain response. Nerve blocks are a common form of this. One example is when a numbing medication is injected into the neck to stop the pain that might appear in the arm. Typically, this treatment requires repeat visits to keep managing varying levels of pain.

Spinal cord stimulation

For those who might not benefit from surgical options or things like nerve blocks, there are alternative treatments. Spinal cord stimulation is one such treatment that makes use of a device that is implanted into the lower back. This device receives signals from a remote and, as a result, can stimulate sensations such as tingling or those that might feel like a massage. This is done in order to combat the sensation of pain with a more pleasurable one, instead. This is a relatively new form of treatment, but one that is seeing constant development in treating various conditions, including back pain and nerve damage.

It’s important to work closely with doctors who specialize in treating chronic pain to ensure that you’re able to find the treatments or combinations thereof that can help you best manage your pain.

How we can help you stay off narcotic drugs

Once you have made the decision to get off of narcotic drugs and gone through any necessary detox treatments, it’s important that you continue to make efforts to stay off of them. Finding new methods to treat your chronic pain is one such effort, but that might not be enough, alone.

As such, Louisville Addiction Treatment Center offers a range of treatment options so that you always have support in keeping narcotics out of your life. Here are just a few that are worth considering.

Intensive Outpatient And Outpatient 

While inpatient residential programs that include living on-site at the treatment center can often be effective, there are cases in which individuals might want or need to be able to participate in elements of their regular routines. Intensive outpatient and outpatient programs allow you to do that, participating up to 5-7 days a week in counseling sessions dedicated to long-term recovery through continued treatment. Outpatient and intensive outpatient programs can help you maintain your daily routines while managing a thorough and comprehensive approach to helping you combat addiction and prevent relapse. There are various different therapy options available as a result, so your program can be catered to your precise needs.

Telemed 

In order to adapt to a world that is increasingly reliant on digital communications, especially over the past couple of years, we have ensured that we offer our patients the means to get the help that they need, regardless of their circumstances. To that end, we have begun to rely much more on telemedicine for addiction. We use this to help schedule and hold appointments online, as well as to manage your program online. As such, when in-person treatment isn’t available, we make sure that you are still able to get the help that you need.

Multiple Pathways Treatment

Not every form of treatment and therapy is going to help each individual equally. While we rely primarily on evidence-based and traditional programming at Louisville Addiction Treatment Center, we can offer the options of different pathways that can best benefit you and meet your needs. This can include medication-assisted therapy, animal-assisted therapy, family therapy, and wilderness therapy. Each program is managed by experienced professionals who have run them time and time again with patients to positive outcomes. This is designed to offer more freedom than the usual treatment programs, while still ensuring each patient follows program guidelines and rules.

Should you adjust away from narcotics for your chronic pain?

If you are concerned about or currently dealing with a reliance on narcotic drugs to manage your chronic pain, then the methods mentioned above can help you find alternatives that don’t bring the same risks. Aside from managing your chronic pain, however, you may need to think about how you can also manage any addiction to narcotics that might have developed as a result of your treatment. To that end, get in touch with Louisville Addiction Treatment Center and we will find the appropriate treatment path to help you on the road to a sober life.

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