17 Jan Opioids are a Massive Problem, and Doctors Do Have Many Other Options
There are a lot of debates when it comes to how to best treat pain, but one thing is clear: opioid drugs, long relied on for their ability to block pain signals to the brain, are a problem of epidemic proportions. In 2014 alone, 47,000 individuals died from opioid overdoses. Additionally, people who are addicted to painkillers are roughly 40 times as likely to become addicted to heroin.
But here at Illinois Pain Institute, we have successfully been diagnosing the source and treating pain for more than 25 years. We identify and target the source of the pain with diagnostic skills and image guided injections. When we use medication, we typically use medications that have a lower risk of abuse and dependency.
There are eight major effective classes of pain management medications that have a lower abuse potential and that are significantly less dangerous than opioids:
- Nerve Membrane stabilizing (anti-seizure) [Gabapentin, Lyrica]
- Anti-depressants [Amitriptyline, Paxil]
- Muscle relaxants [Baclofen, Skelaxin, Flexeril]
- Anti-inflammatories [NSAIDS: Ibuprofen, Celebrex (if sensitive stomach)]
- Analgesics with lower abuse potential (Tramadol, Tylenol 3[w/ Codeine])
- Benzodiazepines: Low dose Clonazepam
- Medical Marijuana
The physicians at Illinois Pain Institute make use of these non-addictive pain management alternatives when needed. We have largely avoided the opioid battle by identifying and fixing the source of pain, rather than masking the symptoms. To learn more about our treatment methods, feel free to visit the treatment page of our website.