What has Chronic Pain Become

Chronic pain is often known as any type of pain that has lasted consistently for more than 12 consecutive weeks. There is estimated to be one hundred million Americans with chronic pain with, every year the numbers are increasing. You might be thinking “What are some solutions to help with this chronic pain?” Prescription pain relievers are the most common treatment. Over, the last several years there has been an increase in opioid prescriptions. Opioids, however, are dangerously addictive. Now you might be thinking “Is there any other treatment options for chronic pain other than opioids?” and the answer is YES, there are other treatments. While there are more than one hundred million people in America suffering from chronic pain, there are three million people in Michigan alone that suffer from chronic pain. What are we doing for treatments, you might be asking yourself. They say that opioids are used as a last resort: however, in 2015 Michigan had hit a peak in the number of opioids that were used to treat pain. According to Michigan.gov, in 2015 doctors had prescribed about 115 opioid prescriptions per 100 people. That is 11.4 million prescriptions of opioids according to Michigan Automated Prescription System (MAPS).

With the rise in prescriptions used to treat pain here are a few common opioids used: oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine, methadone, and codeine. The list of side effects is extensive. At lower doses, opioids could make you feel tired, and higher doses could cause an irregular heartbeat, difficulty breathing which could lead to death. Also, pleasurable feelings can result from opioids may make you want to continue experiencing those pleasant feelings by continue taking the opioids, which can lead to addiction. Addiction is a dependency on a particular thing, activity, or substance. I have seen addiction take over peoples entire lives. Some people have lost everything to an addiction to opioids, others maybe haven’t lost as much, and some people have lost their lives. An addiction is just as powerful if not, more than the opioids that are being taken. There has to be something else, right? Right! There are other ways to help treat chronic pain, according to Dr. Mehmet Oz there are seven different alternative treatments.

Osteopathic Manual Treatment (OMT) were physicians use techniques like stretching and kneading the soft tissue around the inflamed muscles or by applying pressure along specific pressure point. Acupuncture is a needling technique that has been used for centuries to treat pain. Physical therapy will show you how to strengthen your flexibility and muscles to help support your body, resulting in less pain. Hypnotherapy is almost like a guided meditation allowing you to focus your mental state, easing your body into a deep relaxation. There are also some natural treatments like arnica gel, aromatherapy, and vitamin C. Chronic pain affects millions of people every year. There are different ways to go about treating chronic pain, most commonly prescriptions.

As stated above there are many negative side effects to these prescriptions, and with long-term use that increases your chances of becoming addicted to them. With, the alternative treatments stated above are commonly cheaper than the cost of going to the doctor and getting prescriptions. They also do not have deadly side effects like prescription drugs do. However, people have to be willing to seek and receive alternative treatment options.

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