Pain management doesn't have to lead to addiction
When you are hurting, everything is more difficult. But addictive pain medication can cause problems that linger long after the pain is gone. If you are working with your provider to transition from opioid medication or are looking for alternative pain management options, the following suggestions might be right for you.
One of the most difficult things is to change our habits. Yet lifestyle choices have a big impact on our overall health, wellbeing, and balance. Sleep is the most important and most underrated solution to help our bodies, rest, recover, and heal. Making a solid effort to go to bed at the same time every night and stay asleep for 7 hours will improve brain function, memory, energy, healing, hormonal function, and more.
Stress increases cortisol and amplifies our perception of pain. What might be a 2 out of 10 pain when you are relaxed could feel like a 6/10 when you are under stress. Find ways to relieve your stress like practicing deep breathing, listening to relaxing music, getting out in nature, journaling, or meditating.
Sometimes we need help to alleviate our pain. When pain is caused by emotional distress, head injury, or traumatic events, counseling with a behavioral health professional can be very helpful.
If you have pain caused by poor posture or repetitive movement patterns, weakness, injury, surgery, circulatory or digestion issues, scar tissue, or other soft-tissue-related pain, one or more of the following modalities might help. Try massage, chiropractic, acupuncture and/or physical therapy to reduce your pain without addictive medication.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to pain medication or other substances, there are a variety of local and State programs and groups to help with recovery.