Opioids for Relieving Pain
Opioids are a type of synthetic pain medication that replicate a natural opiate-like feel and help in easing moderate to severe pain. In fact, methadone was the first opioid created by the Germans who feared plant-based morphine was going to be scarce during WWII. It is also ironic that methadone is a medication assisted treatment that helps people overcome opioid use disorder. Opioids are typically used during surgery, and afterwards to block pain and are essential for anesthetic purposes. They are also used in treating chronic pain conditions. For instance, cancer patients are often given opioids to relieve severe pain and other symptoms related to chemotherapy. Moreover, they can be used for a variety of medical conditions.
Pain Management is Important to Overall Health
Pain management is an important part of overall physical health and wellbeing. Nevertheless, it is critical to understand that opioids are not always the top choice for pain relief treatment. If abused, they can have severe impacts on your central nervous system, liver, and other organs. Simply stated, they are misused because of the “high” they deliver to the person using the medication.
In the U.S., there are a few non-opioid medicines such as ibuprofen (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), acetaminophen, aspirin (also an NSAID), and even steroids are accessible for use. However, all these products carry the risk of liver or kidney damage. In 2022, more patients are choosing non-drug therapies for pain relief and it’s important to understand what is available as pain relief alternatives. The good news is that these top opioid-free therapies have been utilized for quite some time. And, while individual results may vary, most patients report that they achieve some form of relief without the worry of opioid use disorder.
Top Three Alternatives to Opioids
Massage Therapy: Massage therapy is the physical kneading of the soft tissues of the body (muscle, connective tissue, tendons, and skin) applying pressure and movement for efficacy. Massage enhances blood flow to certain areas of the body and delivers pain relief and muscle relaxation holistically.
Acupuncture: During acupuncture, thin needles are inserted at different points in the skin that stress the acupoints in our body that helps to relieve pain. The roots of acupuncture can be tracked back to ancient Asian cultures. Acupuncture stimulates acupoints that naturally produce endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that are influential in easing pain. At the same time, the brain releases serotonin that regulates our mood. They also help in treating tendinitis, arthritis, digestive disorders, and more.
Yoga: Yoga is one of the oldest mental, physical, and spiritual workout practices. It can also be traced back to ancient Asia. Yoga emphasizes the development of mind-body-spirit connection. Like massage and acupuncture, yoga releases valuable endorphins in the body that help relieve pain. Yoga is also shown effective for treating stress and anxiety that many people self-medicate to get relief.
Whether it be yoga, acupuncture, or massage therapy, BriteLife’s wellness center is a key element of our holistic treatment program in which clients can naturally relieve withdrawal, craving, anxiety, or pain symptoms. These wellness programs are also accessible in most communities and go far beyond the pain relief alternative.
About BriteLife Recovery
BriteLife Recovery is a national provider of addiction treatment for adult men and women. With a focus on total health and wellness, BriteLife offers individualized substance use disorder programs that are centered on client choice and collaboration. The company operates luxury treatment centers in Hanover, PA and Hilton Head, SC.
About the Author
Matthew Koenig is the principal of Last Call Marketing, which devotes their efforts to Digital Marketing, Content Marketing, Website Design and SEO, primarily in healthcare and tourism concerns. Mr. Koenig is based out of South Florida. His sober date is June 10, 2013.