Can You Treat Chronic Back Pain Without Opioids?
Chronic back pain is a serious problem. It can be debilitating, and chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States. If you suffer from chronic back pain, you need to get relief. While opioids are often prescribed as a way to help reduce the pain suffered from chronic back pain, but of course, opioids are addictive and a dependency can develop.
If you want to avoid opioids altogether, there are several other effective treatment options to help you get pain under control and improve your quality of life.
Alternative Treatments for Chronic Back Pain
Here are a few treatment options that have proven effective in addressing chronic back pain.
- Acupuncture – In the past it was viewed as being on the edge, acupuncture has become a popular pain treatment that has proven effective. It works for various medical conditions that lead to chronic pain, including back injuries, osteoarthritis, sports injuries, and fibromyalgia.
- Exercise – Steady physical activity offers benefits for those suffering from different conditions that cause chronic pain. Countless studies have revealed some kinds of physical activity can help as a chronic pain reliever, plus improve mood and boost energy. If you suffer from chronic pain, check with your doctor about starting an exercise routine, and it is especially necessary if you suffer from any medical conditions in addition to chronic pain. Your physician can provide guidance on which exercises to avoid and which to participate in.
- Chiropractic care – Chiropractic manipulation has become an accepted form of treatment in recent years. Studies revealed that chiropractic care is comparable to many other treatment approaches when it comes to the effectiveness of treating lower back pain.
- Vitamins and supplements – Evidence points toward certain vitamins and dietary supplements helping with certain kinds of pain, including lower back pain. Fish oil works to treat pain that results from swelling. Topical capsaicin, an ointment made from chili peppers, has been proven to help treat lower back pain that is caused by arthritis. You need to use care when taking supplements. For example, vitamin B6 in high doses can cause nerve damage. There are studies that suggest that ginseng and ginkgo biloba can cause thinning of the blood and cause an increased bleeding risk. Check with your physician before taking any vitamins or supplements.
- Therapy – While some folks who suffer from chronic pain cringe at the idea of seeing a therapist because they feel is implying that they aren’t suffering real pain. Studies have shown that depression and chronic pain go hand in hand. Chronic pain can cause depression or worsen it while depression can also lower an individual’s tolerance for pain.
- Stress-reduction techniques – It is crucial to reduce stress to have effective pain management. There are several different techniques that can help you reduce stress and relieve pain. Here are a few of those techniques:
- Yoga – Yoga has been proven to help with chronic back pain, especially back pain caused by arthritis or fibromyalgia.
- Relaxation therapy – Relaxation therapy consists of several techniques that help calming the body and releasing tension, which can also help with pain reduction. Relaxation therapy has been proven effective to help with osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia as well as back pain.
- Hypnosis – Studies revealed that hypnosis can be helpful for several different things, including reducing the effects of strain injuries and back pain.
- Guided imagery – Guided imagery is effective for several different kinds of conditions, including back pain caused by osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia. An expert will teach you to direct your thoughts by focusing on specific images.
- Music therapy – You can either perform to or listen to music. This will help you with a variety of pains, such as osteoarthritis.
- Biofeedback – Biofeedback is an approach that teaches you how to control bodily functions that you aren’t normally conscious of, such as heart rate and blood pressure, and that can help you relax and ease pain.
- Massage – It is a way to relax and a way to ease pain from back and neck injuries, fibromyalgia, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Finding Alternative Treatments That Work For You
Not every person can benefit from the same treatment option. You should be honest with your physician about your aches and pains and let your doctor know what is and what is not working. You might have to try several alternative treatment options, or even combine two or more options to get the desired results.
But, don’t give up. There is sure to be an effective alternative treatment for chronic back pain that will work for you and your situation.