Putting a Stop to the Opioid Crisis: It’s Time to Seek a Cure for Chronic Pain and Not Just Treat It

Chronic pain can be debilitating. Defined as any pain that lasts for three months or longer, chronic pain is often a symptom of other serious conditions such as arthritis, nerve damage, poorly healed injuries, stomach ulcers, AIDS, gallbladder disease, multiple sclerosis, and cancer. In some cases, chronic pain can be cured by curing the underlying condition but often it can only be managed. Read on to find out about novel cures and treatments for chronic pain.

Treating Cancer Pain

Cancer has long been one of the top causes of mortality worldwide. Cancer treatments have historically been more painful than the disease, itself, but that’s starting to change. Those who want to find out about novel cancer cures currently in the works can find details at poseida.com.

The best way to cure cancer pain is, of course, to treat cancer. There are plenty of short-term solutions for treating the chronic pain that comes along with both cancer and its treatment without using dangerous opioid medications. They include everything from non-opioid drugs to acupuncture to high-tech radio wave treatments to precision radiation therapy with gamma knife.

Treating Arthritis Pain

Arthritis is common among older adults. In fact, around 23% of Americans struggle with arthritis at some point in their lives. Although arthritis cannot currently be cured, it can be treated using physical therapy, occupational therapy, exercise, improved diet, medication interventions, and surgery.

Some people suffering from chronic arthritis pain are now undergoing a relatively novel procedure known as radiofrequency ablation (RFA), as well. This procedure involves targeting specific nerves that send pain signals using heated needles. RFA only needs to be repeated every eight months to provide ongoing relief.

Treating Nerve Pain

Neuropathic pain can be caused by injuries, surgeries, underlying diseases, and certain vitamin or hormone deficiencies like vitamin B deficiency and some thyroid problems. Nerve pain can be treated effectively using a combination of pharmaceutical drugs, including anticonvulsives and antidepressants as well as painkillers, nerve blocks, and lifestyle adjustments.

Nerve blocks can be temporary or permanent. RFA, described above, is one form of nerve block sometimes used to treat neuropathic pain. Others include neurolytic blocks, surgical nerve blocks, and radiosurgery. Like all medical, surgical, and pharmaceutical interventions, nerve blocks come with a few risks including muscle paralysis, numbness, weakness, and, rarely, increased pain.

Alternative Therapies

Those who prefer to take a more holistic approach to pain reduction often turn to alternative therapies like acupuncture, massage, spinal adjustment, yoga, and meditation. Although these therapies have shown promise in treating joint pain from arthritis, lower back pain, and other problems, they’re generally better as complementary therapies than replacements for traditional medical, surgical, and pharmaceutical interventions.

The Bottom Line

Modern medical researchers are hard at work developing new solutions for managing chronic pain and curing the conditions behind it. The idea that society might someday have a cure for cancer, for example, would have sounded outrageous just a few decades ago, yet now researchers are well on their way to developing novel therapies that are less painful and invasive and more effective than chemotherapy and radiation.

There’s no need for patients currently suffering from chronic pain to wait for miracle cures. Instead, they should discuss their pain level, location, and type with their doctors to get help determining what strategy would be best for managing the pain right now.

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