While pain medication is sometimes necessary, many pain centers all over the country offer alternatives to pain medications to help people everywhere live free of chronic pain. What are some of the alternatives to pain medication when it comes to pain management?
Physical therapy is a popular alternative to both pain medication and surgery in pain management. In physical therapy, your physical therapist will work closely with your doctor to ensure you get the best care with the best results. Physical therapy can improve your strength and flexibility, which will not only help with your chronic pain but will also help prevent future pain. Being stronger might seem like a trivial goal of pain management, but the truth is that you need strong joints and muscles to properly support your body. When there’s a lack of support, chronic pain can happen, get worse, or you could even have another injury. Your physical therapist will work with you to determine which areas your chronic pain is coming from and then work with you to strengthen, support, and make those areas more flexible to help alleviate your pain.
There are numerous injections that can be done at the site of injury or discomfort for pain management that do not involve the use of pain medications. Different injections that your pain management office may offer include:
Epidural Steroid Injection. This may be most helpful for those who need relief from inflammation and pain in the spine. Once your doctor determines where the pain is coming from, you can discuss the possibility of getting an epidural steroid injection at the site to relieve your pain. This could also be done for other types of pain such as shoulder or arthritis pain.
Facet Injections. The joints in your spine that allow movement of the spine in different directions, called facet joints, may be affected due to an accident or injury. An injection in this area can help relieve pain. According to Dr. Damita Bryant at Center for Spine, Joint and Neuromuscular Rehabilitation “The facet joints are a very common source of pain from trauma as well as natural aging. Innovative treatments such as nerve blocks and radiofrequency can provide significant pain relief in the neck and lower back.”
Many people experience chronic pain in their joints, and joint injections can help to decrease inflammation or even lubricate joints to help you move better.
Neuromodulation is a procedure that involves electrical impulses that help to hinder the signals your chronic pain area is sending to your brain. Many different regions of your body can benefit from neuromodulation, so whichever area is causing you pain, neuromodulation may be able to help, especially if other treatments have not worked for your chronic pain, including pain medication. The current of electricity is low and can be applied to your problem area to affect the nerves and tissues there. This form of pain management therapy can be very effective on a variety of patients with a variety of symptoms and complaints.
Platelet-rich Plasma Therapy
Platelet-rich plasma therapy (PRP) utilizes your body’s platelets to expedite healing of recent and chronic painful conditions. PRP therapy can be used to treat many forms of chronic pain, from back pain to knee pain to tendon and ligament problems as well as muscular pain. With PRP therapy, your platelets will be separated from your blood and are then injected into the area where they’re needed to help heal the injury and therefore ease your pain. PRP therapy helps your body repair itself and to cease the pain coming from your injury or affected area. The procedure usually only takes a couple hours and allows the patient to return to most activities afterward.
Pain management doesn’t always have to involve pain medication. Pain specialists such as physical therapists, rehabilitation specialists, and anesthesiologists are physicians that specialize in these types of alternative therapies for pain. Inquire about these pain management alternatives to pain medication from your doctor.