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Dealing with Chronic Pain Without Opiates

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Table of Contents

Dealing with Chronic Pain Without Opiates cover

Opiate addiction is a serious problem that affects millions of people around the world. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is a legitimate problem that can also be extremely debilitating. While opioid painkillers can help with extreme cases of chronic pain, the risk of physical dependence is high. If you are recovering from an addiction, taking opioid painkillers is simply not an option. So how can you get relief for your chronic pain?

What Are Opioid Painkillers?

Opioid painkillers are a type of narcotic medication that is used to relieve pain. These drugs are derived from opium, which is found in the poppy plant. There are several different types of opioid painkillers, including morphine, oxycodone, and fentanyl. These medications can be extremely effective at relieving pain, but they can also be addictive and dangerous if used improperly.

Avoiding Opioids While Suffering from Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a problem that affects many people, and opiates are often prescribed as a treatment. While opiates can be an effective way to manage chronic pain, they can also be addictive and lead to other health problems. When used correctly, opiates can help people manage their pain and improve their quality of life, but when used incorrectly, they can be dangerous. Even people who take their painkillers as prescribed can still become addicted.

People who are trying to recover from addiction may refuse to take opiates to avoid a relapse. However, it is sometimes tricky to distinguish between a relapse and a legitimate medical need. If you are in recovery and your doctor is prescribing opioid painkillers for your pain, have an honest discussion with your physician about your history of addiction. Together you can come to a decision and make a plan about your opioid use.

For individuals in recovery who cannot or will not take opioids, there are fortunately many alternative approaches to reducing chronic pain.

What is Chronic Pain and What Causes it?

Chronic pain is different from regular day-to-day pain because it lasts for a long time and it is difficult to treat. Chronic pain can be caused by an injury or surgery that has not fully healed. It can also be caused by a disease or condition, such as cancer or arthritis. Severe pain is very intense and it comes on suddenly. It usually lasts for a short time, but it can be very disabling.

Pain is an unpleasant experience that we all try to avoid. It can be caused by many things, including injuries, diseases, and emotional stress. Pain can affect any part of the body, but it is most commonly felt in the muscles, joints, or head.

People experience pain on the neurological level — not just in the body. This means that pain is not just a sensation that we feel in our skin or muscles. It is also a response from our brains that tells us something is wrong. The brain receives information about pain from special nerve cells called nociceptors. These cells are found in all parts of the body and are activated when they are injured or when something harmful is happening.

Because the experience of pain is so complex and subjective, there are many ways of dealing with pain. While some approaches involve relaxing the body and muscles, others involve changing our mental state and rethinking our perspective on pain. For people who are trying to avoid the opioid painkiller route, there are many non-opiate treatments for chronic pain. These include medications, therapies, and surgeries.

Alternatives to Opioid Painkillers

Non-Opioid Medications

While there are many treatment options available, medications are often the first line of defense against chronic pain. There are many non-opioid medications that can be used to treat chronic pain. These include over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. Ultimately, the right medication depends on the individual's specific needs.

Some common medications used to treat chronic pain include over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, muscle relaxants, and prescription NSAIDs. Herbs and supplements, including fish oil, can also relieve inflammation, which is a major factor in chronic pain. All of these medications can be very effective in managing chronic pain and providing relief from pain symptoms.

Moreover, non-opioid medications are generally safer and less addictive than opioid medications. They also tend to have fewer side effects. Additionally, non-opioid medications are often cheaper than opioid medications.

However, chronic pain is a complex condition that generally requires the use of both medication and non-pharmacological interventions to achieve maximum relief from symptoms.

Lifestyle Changes to Deal With Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a common problem that can be caused by many things, including injuries, diseases, and disorders. While there is no one cure for chronic pain, there are many lifestyle changes that can help to manage it. Diet, exercise, and stress management are all important aspects of managing chronic pain.

A healthy diet is important for managing chronic pain. Eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables can help to reduce inflammation and pain. It is also important to avoid foods that can aggravate inflammation, such as fried foods and sugary drinks.

Exercise is another important part of managing chronic pain. Exercise can help to improve flexibility and strength, which can help to reduce pain. It is best to start out slowly and gradually increase the intensity of the exercises as you become more comfortable.

Stress management is also critical for managing chronic pain. Since pain is ultimately experienced in the brain, improving one's mood and attitude can actually have a powerful effect on the subjective experience of pain. Talking to friends or simply taking it easy for a day may turn out to be painkillers as powerful as any drug.

Therapies for Chronic Pain

There are many therapies that can be used to treat chronic pain. These include physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic care, acupuncture, heat/cold therapy, and biofeedback. In some cases, simply talking to a good psychotherapist can also help. A growing body of research is showing how unresolved trauma and other emotional issues affect the body and lead to pain and illness. Opening up and getting help for these emotional issues is often surprisingly helpful for many conditions that we erroneously believe are located in the body.

Surgeries for Chronic Pain

Extreme cases of chronic pain sometimes demand surgical intervention. There are many surgeries that can be used to treat chronic pain. These include spinal fusion, disc replacement, and implantation of neurostimulators. Spinal fusion is a surgery that is used to treat chronic back pain. Disc replacement is a surgery that is used to treat chronic neck pain. Implantation of neurostimulators is a surgery that is used to treat chronic pain in the arm or leg. These surgeries can relieve pain when the source of the pain is very clear-cut.

Recovering from Opioid Addiction in a Sober Living

A sober living house is a great place to get help with opioid addiction. In a sober living house, you can live in a safe and supportive environment while you recover from your addiction. You will be able to receive support from the staff at the house, and you will also be able to meet other people who are recovering from addiction. This can be an important step on the road to recovery.

If you are dealing with chronic pain, there is no better place to do it than Design for Recovery’s sober living. Sober livings like Design for Recovery can help you deal with both physical and emotional challenges without drugs or alcohol. There are other ways of getting relief. But it’s important to have a strong social support system in place to learn these new approaches. At Design for Recovery’s men’s sober living, we will be there for you every step of the way.

We can help you build a new life in sobriety and connect you with any resources you need for non-opioid pain relief. If you are ready to quit opioids for good and develop a new plan for pain relief, reach out to Design for Recovery today for a free consultation.


Edited by: David Beasley

David Beasley - Design for Recovery

David Beasley is a certified RADT (Registered Alcohol/Drug Technician). David, moved to California from North Carolina after many failed attempts to get sober.

Medically Reviewed by: Charley Allen

Charley earned his Masters of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, Los Angeles, and is a California Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT).He teaches mindfulness to both adults and children in group setting such as schools, corporate workplaces, and medical treatment facilities.

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