Many chronic pain patients use prescription painkillers to relieve pain symptoms, and in some cases, it’s relatively effective. However, the long-term use of opioids for pain management is still somewhat unknown and because these drugs are quite potent, there are risks to relying solely on pain medication for chronic pain relief. That being said, patients should consider other forms of pain management like injections, physical therapy, home health care or minimally invasive procedures to manage their pain.
The team of highly sophisticated medical providers at American Spine develops comprehensive care plans to balance and monitor the use of prescription pain medications. The physicians care deeply about the wellbeing of every patient and are always available to help diminish pain symptoms. If you’re interested in seeking care from medical professionals who combat pain from a multidisciplinary point-of-view, continue reading and then schedule your appointment at American Spine!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more deaths now from opioid medication overdoses than from cocaine and heroine combined. Furthermore, American’s ingest 80 percent of the world’s opioids, which is pretty frightening considering our country is only 4 percent of the world’s population. Nevertheless, patients need to be aware of common symptoms associated with opioid dependency, some of which include: mood swings, depression, social isolation, exhaustion, sweating, addiction, vomiting and/or hallucinations.
Additional risks of relying on pain meds for chronic pain management may also include:
- Becoming tolerant to your current dosage
- Needing to increase the number and frequency of your medication(s)
- Hormone or immune system abnormalities/dysfunctions
- Increased pain
- Cognitive impairment
Again, there is little information available on the long-term effects opioid medications have on the body. Normal bodily functions being disrupted or completely shutting down are entirely possible and can lead to premature death. The bottom line: close monitoring of opioid use by a physician and being open to other treatment options is important for receiving adequate pain care. Moreover, if you are currently taking prescription painkillers for relief, it’s imperative you document any emerging or unusual side effects. These could be signs of a dependence to your medication or your body rejecting the medication. If you have not responded to an increase in your medication, tell your American Spine physician. He may discontinue your use and recommend other endeavors.
At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).
The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.
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