The term “opioid” refers to various medications that interact with opioid receptors in your brain and throughout your body. The most well-known opioids are morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, fentanyl and heroin. Opioids can also include drugs like tramadol, which function differently from traditional opioids but produce similar effects. Opioids produce pain relief via their ability to bind to certain opioid receptors in cells within your central nervous system (CNS) and other tissues. Cutting down on opioids isn’t easy for chronic pain sufferers. This is a challenge because there aren’t many options for safe alternatives to these addictive medications. However, there are safer alternatives to opioids that can help people manage their chronic pain cases.
What are the safer alternatives to opioids?
If you’re ready to reduce your opioid intake, some safer alternatives can help. Here are four safe treatments for chronic pain:
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
• Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
• Mindfulness meditation
• Wearable tech
• Over-the-counter pain relievers (OTC)
What are non-steroidal anti-inflamatory drugs?
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs are a safer alternative because they have fewer side effects than opioids. These include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and diclofenac. Just be sure to follow dosage instructions carefully, as these medications can cause problems if used incorrectly. It’s also important to take all medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
What is acupuncture?
Acupuncture is a Chinese medical treatment in which very thin needles are inserted into certain points on the skin. Some studies have shown that it may be helpful for chronic pain, but more research needs to be done before it can be used as a routine treatment. Nevertheless, acupuncture does have plenty of benefits and should always be considered a safer alternative to opioids because it has even fewer side effects than NSAIDs.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
If you’re looking for a non-invasive, safe alternative to opioids, then TENS may help. It involves putting electrodes attached to wires on the skin near the source of pain. A device sends a mild electrical current through the electrodes, which seems to desensitize peripheral nerves transmitting pain signals.
Another option for a safe alternative to opioids is mindfulness mediation. It can help you manage your chronic pain more effectively by showing you how to detach from harsh thoughts and emotions. One University of Washington study found that mindfulness meditation can reduce self-reports of pain intensity, unpleasantness, and bothersomeness by 40%. So there are several safer alternatives to opioids that should be considered if you’re ready to cut down on opioid intake during treatment for chronic pain.
This might be the best safe alternative to opioids as wearable tech can help people manage their chronic pain and reduce opioid intake at the same time. This cutting-edge technology uses advanced sensors and data analytics to generate insights about your daily activities, sleep patterns, stress levels and other factors that can affect your pain levels. Behavioral science concepts like positive reinforcement and gamification are used in wearables, so you’ll be motivated towards improving your overall health.
Over-the-counter pain relievers (OTC)
Last but not least, there’s OTC medication which many people choose as a safe alternative to opioids. They’re available without a prescription, so they’re very easy to get your hands on if you need them. Some of these drugs include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium. Just be sure to keep your OTC medication dosage as prescribed by your doctor or as indicated on the drug’s label.
How can you decide the suitable alternative for you?
Before you decide to switch to a safer alternative, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They can help you choose the best option and determine if there is any risk involved. This will ensure that the choice you make is safe for you and helps prevent adverse effects or interactions with other drugs or supplements. Remember, always consult a healthcare provider before making changes to your treatment plan.
Why should you seek safer alternatives?
The goal is to find safe and effective alternatives that don’t cause addiction or withdrawal symptoms. The only way to do this is with the help of your doctor, who can direct you towards a treatment plan that will ease pain, reduce reliance on opioids and ultimately keep you healthy. If you are looking for more information, you can call us today at 833-497-3812. We will provide you with the best treatment and care you deserve!