For those who are experiencing chronic pain as a result of injury or as the result of diseases such as cancer, the use of prescription painkillers can be seen as a godsend. While the use of such prescription painkillers such as Percocet and Oxycontin can have great pain management benefits when used as prescribed, these drugs have a high potential for addiction if not used as directed. Additionally, these types of drug interventions are beneficial only in the short-term and are seen as components of an overall pain management program. Because of these facts, it is important for those suffering from chronic physical pain to find alternative ways to deal with their pain without painkillers.
Ways to Deal with Pain Without Painkillers
For those who are dealing with chronic pain, the use of prescription painkillers may be attractive. However, without addressing the root causes of the pain, using painkillers as a major intervention is analogous to trying to fix a toothache by popping a pill. As stated earlier, the use of painkillers is most effective when prescribed and used responsibly and as a part of an overall pain management program that includes physical therapy and other pain management interventions.
Because dependence on painkillers can present a slippery slope into addictive use patterns and behaviors, it is important to find alternative methods of pain management without the use of painkillers. Here are five examples then can be utilized:
- Exercise—in the long run, regular exercise can help minimize pain through the release of endorphins such as dopamine. Also exercise can help keep muscles toned and keep joints from stiffening and can keep off excess weight which can complicate pain symptoms.
- Alternative Therapies—as a stand-alone treatment or as a supplement to painkillers, the use of alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, yoga and biofeedback can be utilized for pain management and can act as a transition out of prescription-based pain relief.
- Sleep—being able to get a great night’s rest on a consistent basis can make people less sensitive to pain. Ideally, people should get between seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
- Supplements—the use of supplements such as fish oil, vitamin B, glucosamine and chondroitin can help alleviate pain.
- Heat and Ice—finding ways to utilize heat and ice treatments can help alleviate pain in the long run.
Dealing with Physical Pain in Sobriety
The use of prescription painkillers for pain management by people who are in recovery from substance abuse has been a controversial subject. Even though painkillers have substantial benefits when used as prescribed and with close monitoring by doctors and medical personnel, the use of substances with high potentiality for misuse and addiction provides the proverbial slippery slope to backslide into addiction and especially for those who are in recovery. Additionally, the use of prescription painkillers may not be effective for certain types of pain.
Therefore, it is crucial to those who are in recovery that alternative methods of pain recovery are found. Some examples of dealing with pain without the use of painkillers are listed above; however, another crucial method for finding alternative pain relief methods is to seek the advice and support of those in recovery who have experiencing similar situations. Additionally, those in recovery who are experiencing chronic pain should seek sound medical advice from multiple and credible sources.