Chronic pain is often difficult to treat since the pain has many causes and each person responds differently to treatments. There's not a single chronic pain treatment that works for everyone. Your doctor has to consider several options and maybe combine a few to help you get relief or at least a reduction in pain. Here are some common treatments for pain relief besides opioids your doctor might discuss with you.
Start With Lifestyle Improvements
Lifestyle changes alone may not relieve your pain, but they might reduce your pain and work along with other forms of treatment. Losing excess weight might help since your body won't have to carry around so much weight that puts pressure on your back, knees, and feet. Exercise might help as well. Strengthening exercises can help your back get stronger and support your body more easily. Learning stress-reduction techniques, meditating, and even taking counseling might help manage your chronic pain.
Try Alternative Treatments
You might consider acupuncture treatments targeted at reducing your pain. You may even want regular massages since these can improve blood flow that might help heal damaged tissues. You might also try biofeedback or hypnosis. You may need to commit to multiple treatment sessions and be patient for results. If you have an injury, it will take time for the injury to heal and for your pain to get better.
Use Medical Treatments
Your doctor might recommend chiropractic adjustments, physical therapy treatments and exercises, or electrical stimulation including an electrical stimulation implant. While there are several options for chronic pain treatment, many of them may not be suitable for your condition.
Your doctor has to consider the location of your pain, its cause, and its severity when deciding on the treatments to try first. Your doctor may try treatments with the lowest risk of side effects first and add more complex treatments as the doctor sees how you respond to treatments. It's important to work closely with your doctor, follow all instructions, and give accurate feedback so your doctor can customize your pain therapy to give you the best results.
A number of medications can be used to help with chronic pain besides opioids. Your doctor might choose muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, or seizure medications to help reduce your pain. You might take topical medications, injections, or pills.
It's important to take the medication as directed by your doctor or let your doctor know why you can't. Skipping doses may cause the medications to be less effective. If you're leery about taking prescription drugs, talk to your doctor about possible side effects and if there are any natural alternatives available.
Contact your doctor for more information on chronic pain treatment.