Why Opioid Treatment Doesn’t Work
No doubt you’ve heard by now that America is facing an opioid crisis of epidemic levels. Over 2 million Americans are thought to be addicted to prescription opioids, like oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin).
Opioids, prescription and otherwise, are now the leading cause of overdose deaths in the US, claiming 115 lives per day. With such incredible risks, you’d think that these highly addictive drugs would be prescribed in only the most severe instances. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
While prescription regulations are certainly tightening, prescriptions of these drugs is still quite common. In fact, 2016 saw almost 215 MILLION opioid prescriptions — enough to medicate a staggering 66.5% of the population.
Why we don’t prescribe opioids
Of course, the potential for addiction, abuse, and destruction is a major factor in our decision to steer our patients away from opioids. But you may be thinking surely they can be helpful if properly used and carefully monitored, no?
While there certainly are times that opiates make sense determining if any individual case is worth the risk for the reward is not always so clear cut; if it was there would not be so many opiate related deaths. What’s worse is there is also a body of literature that has demonstrated that opioids, paradoxically, can make your pain much worse in a number of ways.
For example, Opioids are known to depress the respiratory system. The reduced oxygen circulation can interfere with your body’s natural healing abilities and cause or worsen chronic pain in the joints, muscles, and extremities.
Opioids can also alter your nervous system in a way that makes you more sensitive to pain. As your pain tolerance decreases, your opioid tolerance increases, meaning that you need greater amounts of the drug to achieve relief. When you try to reduce your usage, you’ll be hit with a double whammy of increased pain and withdrawal, sending you right back to the drug.
Finally, while opioids can often effectively block the sensation of pain they do nothing to address the root cause. If you’re suffering from a degenerative condition, the damage to your body will continue unchecked until eventually, it may become irreversible.
What’s the alternative?
If pain is dominating your life, it’s understandable that the quick relief of opioids may seem hard to resist. With increased awareness of the risks involved with this approach however many people today are asking the question: What can be done instead?
At Piedmont Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, PA, we advocate for a regenerative medicine approach, among a whole host of other non-surgical and non- addictive options, in the treatment of pain. These pioneering treatments focus on getting to the root cause of your pain and promoting your body’s natural healing abilities.
We offer a number of highly effective treatment options in our Greenville clinic. Prolotherapy is a non-surgical approach that involves injecting natural compounds into damaged ligaments, tendons, or muscle. This stimulates tissue regeneration, relieves pain and stiffness, and even slows the progression of degenerative conditions like arthritis.
Platelet-rich plasma therapy, or PRP, is an advanced regenerative technique that amplifies your body’s healing capabilities. The treatment involves extracting healing growth factors from your own blood and injecting them back into pain sites in high concentrations. The result is an accelerated healing process and enhanced, long-term relief from pain.
Stem cell therapy is among the most powerful regenerative techniques for achieving long-term relief from pain. It involves taking unspecialized cells, or cells that have not yet developed into specific cell types, and injecting them into damaged tissue. There, they can be ‘grown’ by the body into healthy new specialist cells to relieve painful conditions and restore proper function.
Free yourself from pain without dangerous opioids
We have seen first-hand, over and over again, how these regenerative treatments can free people from pain and give them back their health. If you’re looking for a healthier, more effective solution to chronic pain, call 1-864-235-1834 now to book an appointment with one of our specialists.