Chronic pain is any form of pain lasting more than 12 weeks. The condition, which can be debilitating, is commonly linked to significant injuries or illnesses, some of which include rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and fibromyalgia. Chronic pain may also be a byproduct of certain cancers, multiple sclerosis, stomach ulcers, AIDS, and gallbladder diseases as well.
What Does Chronic Pain Feel Like?
In addition to being long-lasting, chronic pain can take on many forms. For example, it can be a persistent burning sensation, shooting pain, or aches. Chronic pain is also frequently accompanied by feelings of soreness, tightness, and stiffness. One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to chronic pain is that it is an all-over pain. In reality, chronic pain is targeted pain that can affect various parts of the body. Common ways of experiencing chronic pain include
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Neck pain
- Nerve pain
- Pelvic pain
- Shoulder pain
How Chronic Pain Leads To Addiction
If an underlying health problem is causing the patient’s chronic pain, treatment invariably comes down to resolving that health problem. However, in some cases, the condition is not tied to an injury or underlying health problem, which can leave physicians in somewhat of a quandary. In these cases, physicians will often prescribe opioids like morphine, codeine, oxycodone, fentanyl, or buprenorphine to help patients cope with chronic pain, which can lead to addiction. That said, it is important to note that opioid addiction is on the rise in America. According to the National Institute of Health, more than 2 million Americans admit to misusing prescription opioids. To overcome their addiction, many people have turned to rehab facilities for help.
How Do Rehab Facilities Treat Opioid Addiction Related To Chronic Pain?
When it comes to treating opioid addiction and chronic pain, inpatient and outpatient rehab programs offer a variety of highly effective treatment options. Some of these treatment modalities also include non-addictive methods. In all cases, however, rehab facilities will still be tasked with addressing the withdrawal symptoms that a patient may experience after they have stopped taking opioids. To combat severe withdrawal symptoms, some facilities will advise patients to take over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen, for example, while undergoing non-addictive treatments. Some of these treatments include
Physical therapy – To help address both chronic pain and addiction, a physical therapist will perform deep-muscle massages and other forms of physical therapy to improve the patient’s ability to function while also decreasing their preexisting chronic pain or the pain related to the detox process.
Acupuncture – This form of treatment involves the use of thin needles, which are inserted into different areas of the skin to help block pain signals that would otherwise travel to the brain.
Injections – For those struggling with muscle spasms or nerve pain that has given way to chronic pain, injections with local anesthetics or other medications can be used to help short-circuit pain.
High-tech Treatment For Chronic Pain And Opioid Addiction
While over-the-counter treatments and non-addictive treatment methods like physical therapy, acupuncture, and injection therapy are effective, they do not work for everyone. As such, some rehab facilities offer a high-tech approach toward overcoming opioid addiction and resolving chronic pain. Some of the most popular treatments include
Pain pumps – This treatment involves the use of a special pump, which is implanted between the muscle and skin of the abdomen and works in conjunction with a catheter, which carries pain medication from the pump to the spinal cord and nerves. Pain pumps are highly effective when it comes to resolving chronic pain and pain related to the abrupt cessation of opioids.
Radio waves – This form of treatment entails inserting a needle near the nerve responsible for the patient’s pain and burning the nerve using an electrical current, which is created by radio waves.
In summation, there are countless ways to resolve chronic pain and opioid addiction that do not involve using prescription-based medications. It is important to note that some of the treatments covered in this article may not be offered by all rehab facilities. If you have questions about non-addictive treatments for chronic pain and opioid addiction, you’re encouraged to schedule a consultation with one of our helpful and compassionate representatives today at 888-380-0342.