We know that opioids are powerful painkillers. We also know that they are highly addictive. That’s why more pain management providers are prescribing opioids LESS OFTEN for chronic pain and migraines.
A Change in the Treatment of Chronic Pain
From the late 1980s through the early 2000s, opioids were the go-to drugs for many physicians with patients with chronic pain and migraines. Doctors, back then, believed that by taking the highly addictive painkillers as prescribed, patients wouldn’t become addicted. They were wrong.
Reality sunk in and science then revealed that dependence on opioids develops quickly.
Examples of news headlines paint the picture very clearly:
- 15,000 to 18,000 U.S. deaths per year due to overdose of prescription opioids.
- Growing rates of addiction to heroin. Why? This less-expensive opioid is commonly turned to by addicts for cost reasons or when their pill mill gets shut down.
Doctors Discover Opioids Aren’t Always Best for Pain Treatment
In addition to their addictive nature, doctors soon discovered that opioids:
- Don’t provide adequate pain relief long-term. After a while, some patients get partial relief — roughly about 20 or 30 percent relief. Improvement in function and general well-being is even lower.For some patients, opioids make their pain worse.
- Cause unwelcome side effects. Weakened immune system, hormone imbalances, respiratory depression, sedation and constipation are just a few.
When are Opioids Prescribed Now?
Opioids are best for treating short-term pain. For chronic pain and some migraines, pain management providers prescribe them only for cancer pain or when other treatments don’t work. Even then, they’re used only in low doses. Plus, they are continued only if the patient’s function (not just their level of pain) improves.
Evaluating the Cause of Your Pain
If you’ve taken opioid painkillers for an extended period of time, see a pain management specialist. He or she can re-evaluate the cause of your pain. Just as like if you were taking antibiotics for a urinary tract infection but your infection wasn’t going away, you’d stop using the antibiotics and try something else — The same is true with opioids and pain.
Pain management specialists can offer an array of other more potentially successful treatments, like TruDenta pain management therapy — with no drugs, and fewer side effects.
If you are ready to take a step towards being pain free, or simply want to learn more about how the minimally invasive migraine treatment called TruDenta works, contact us today to set up a FREE TruDenta consultation.