Everyone has felt physical pain before in his or her life. Whether from a stubbed toe or a stomachache, pain is unpleasant and unwanted. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are two types: acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain lets you know that you may be injured or a have problem you need to take care of. Chronic pain is different because it may last for weeks, months, or even years.
The original cause may have been an injury or infection. There may be an ongoing cause of pain, such as arthritis or cancer. In some cases, there is no clear cause. Environmental and psychological factors can make chronic pain worse. Chronic pain is not always curable, but treatments can help. There are drug treatments, including pain relievers. There are also non-drug treatments, such as acupuncture, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery.
Chronic Pain is a Very Common Problem
The National Institute on Drugs (NIH) estimates that over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain does not just mean that the pain lasts longer than the time it takes for the body to heal; it is a considered a disease that impairs function, distorts the nervous system, migrates to other areas of the body, and can impact moods and decrease a person’s overall quality of life.
Many addicts with opioid addiction started out using pain medication due to their chronic pain. Innocently enough, they were given prescribed pain medication to treat their pain such as, Codeine, Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone, Oxycodone, just to name a few, and grew dependent on it. It is known that if pain medication is taken for more than a couple of weeks, you could become dependent on the medication. First, you may take more than prescribed because the pain may be unbearable or maybe you started to have a higher tolerance therefore, the prescribed dose does not produce the same effect.
Whatever the reason was, you’ve now added an addiction to opioids with your chronic pain, and it has taken over your life. You check yourself into detox, went to an inpatient treatment center, are involved in support groups, such as A.A. or N.A. You’ve checked yourself in a sober house and are on the right track to getting your life back. You are succeeding in this new life of recovery, but there is one thing…you still have chronic pain.
Managing Pain Can be a Challenge in Recovery
Recovery and having chronic pain is challenging, especially if you are living in a sober home because most do not allow residents to use any medication that could be abused. Even though it can be managed, most addicts avoid prescription medication because the chances of abusing them again are high and they don’t want to risk it.
For those that choose not to use prescription medications, there are natural ways to relieve pain without any risk of becoming dependent on a substance. Some natural ways of pain management that are effective are:
- Massage Therapy
- Physical Therapy
By incorporating these activities plus eating the right foods, you can ensure your body will function at its best ability over any illnesses, fatigue, and chronic pain so you can be your best in recovery.
Like mentioned earlier, depending on the severity of your chronic pain, prescribed medications are still an option but will have to be managed by a professional physician that is educated in your history of substance abuse and one that is trained specifically with chronic pain and addicts in recovery.
If you are ready to take the next step in your path to recovery, we at Allure Detox can help. Allure Detox exists to help patients stop using drugs and alcohol safely. Unlike many facilities, our medically-assisted detox center treats addiction as a disease. Our team of specially trained physicians and nurses is absolutely committed to helping addicts and alcoholics achieve lasting recovery.