There is hardly a person left in this country that hasn’t been touched by the opioid epidemic in some way. As more and more research concerning the dangers and dependence of opioid pain relievers continues to pour in, it’s no surprise that opioid alternatives are one of the hottest topics in the medical industry.
Just because opioids were considered the go-to pain management treatment for so many years doesn’t mean it’s the only method for confronting chronic pain. You and your loved ones don’t have to surrender control of your lives or your pain treatment to opioids. You should be aware that:
- Several comparable means of pain management exist.
- It may be possible to improve or alleviate your condition with a low-risk, non-invasive surgical procedure.
- Medicine is making progress towards restorative treatments that repair the damage that causes pain, whether from injuries, age-related degeneration or arthritis.
You Have Options
The days of quickly written prescriptions are coming to a close. Opioid alternatives are proving to hold massive advantages over the traditional pharmacological means of pain management. Several more common treatment options include:
- Nerve blocks have been popular in the field of opioid alternatives for years. Since there are groups of nerves that send pain directly to specific parts of your body, your doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute (SSI) are able to trace your pain to its source. Injecting numbing medications into the nerves hinders the transmission of pain signals. It’s effective, but only for a limited time.
- Pain pumps deliver pain medication directly into your spinal cord over time. With a pain pump, much smaller doses of pain medication are able to manage and reduce your pain symptoms.
- Epidural injections are less invasive opioid alternatives. These injections address chronic pain by treating inflammation that puts pressure on your spinal nerves.
- Electrothermal therapy is particularly helpful if your discs are the source of your pain. Heat is used to modify your nerve fibers or to destroy your pain receptors.
- Spinal cord stimulation is an excellent option if your pain is unresponsive to more conservative therapies. It uses a tiny electrical generator to send electric current directly to specifically-targeted areas of your spine.
- Stem cell therapy is an innovative treatment technique that’s making waves in the medical field. It’s accomplished by harvesting your own stem cells from bone marrow or adipose fat. After processing, it’s injected directly into your problem areas. These tiny powerhouses are the basic building blocks of your cells and have the ability to become different types of cells. Stem cell therapy has entered the world of pain management and opioid alternatives because it promotes regeneration and gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself, naturally.
- Surgery, while typically considered a last-resort option at SSI, can still be the best option in some cases. New surgical technologies continue to make drastic improvements to the medical field. In most cases, there are several different ways to perform the same surgery. This enables your spine specialists to address your needs on an individual basis. Laparoscopic and minimally invasive techniques are cutting recovery and downtimes to days or weeks; instead of months or years.