The current epidemic of drug use leading to addiction and overdose has brought scrutiny to the prescribing of powerful painkillers called opiates. As specialists with extensive training in the field of interventional pain management, our pain management physicians know there are opioid as well as non-opioid treatments for pain management. Often, non-opiate treatments can provide more effective relief for chronic pain than opiates, without the side-effects of narcotic medications.
Once an accurate diagnosis is attained, a unique treatment plan will be tailored by your provider depending on the severity and location of the issue. The treatment plan can include simple over-the-counter anti-inflammatories (such as Aleve and Motrin), physical therapy and perhaps alternative therapies, such as acupuncture or massage. Supporting the injured area through bracing may be offered. Non-opioid medications may be prescribed, including prescription strength anti-inflammatories, topical analgesics such as lidocaine, muscle relaxants (such as Flexeril), or nerve pain medications (such as Neurontin, Lyrica, or Cymbalta). Corticosteroid injections, delivered using x-ray or ultrasound guidance to reach the exact source of the pain, can also provide long-lasting relief for chronic pain.
Medications are just one of the ways we treat pain. For many patients, advances in minimally invasive non-surgical procedures such as kyphoplasty, radiofrequency neurotomy, regenerative treatments, and spinal cord stimulation enable us to completely eradicate the cause of their pain and eliminate the need for medication entirely.
The providers of National Spine & Pain Specialists and its affiliates use their advanced training and experience to help other medical providers understand the importance of providing non-opioid options. When appropriate, a closely monitored opioid regimen may be recommended as well and can also be an effective way to reduce pain and increase function.