Chronic Pain Treatment and Medication: Know Your Options
Medications for chronic pain carry certain risks. Talk to a highly trained pain specialist about the risks and alternatives.
Prescription chronic pain treatment medication, particularly opioids like hydrocodone and oxycodone are prescribed by doctors more and more. Although medications for chronic pain can offer short-term pain relief, using them over the long term can have significant consequences.
- When pain continues because doctors can’t eliminate the cause, your body grows more tolerant of pain medication. To get noticeable pain relief, you have to take higher and higher dosages. Sometimes, patients ask their doctors to prescribe higher dosages. At other times, patients adjust dosages on their own, which can have negative consequences.
- Side effects. Chronic pain medications sometimes cause marked side effects, including dizziness and drowsiness. The medicine might alleviate your pain, but pain relief comes at a cost: you’re often too dizzy or sleepy to work, drive, and take care of your family.
- After a while, both body and mind can become dependent on medication, causing severe withdrawals when you try to stop taking it.
- According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, overdoses from opioid pain relievers have tripled over the past 20 years. Mixing opioids with other substances, like alcohol or other medications, places patients at increased risk.
Medication can mask pain temporarily, but it doesn’t address the root cause of what’s happening to your body. The pain specialists at the Heilman Center for Pain and Spine Care focus on treating pain at its source. By addressing the cause of pain, we help many patients find relief without medication.
Our Medication Management Approach
When you visit a Heilman Center location to get confidential assistance with your chronic pain medication, we’ll start with a full review of your case history, an examination of your medical records, and a conversation to help us understand what you’re experiencing. We also obtain a list of your current medications, the dosages you’re taking, and the frequency with which you take medication.
Adjusting Your Medication
In addition to evaluating which medications you’re taking, we perform medication sensitivity testing to analyze the effectiveness of your current dosage. In some cases, we can help you get positive effects at a much lower dosage. In other cases, we discover your body has developed tolerance to certain medications, and offer alternative treatments that can do a better job.
Sometimes, patients decide they’d prefer to stop taking medication, or they get better results from an alternate treatment. We’ll help you safely and gradually stop taking medication to minimize withdrawal and unpleasant symptoms.
A word of caution: Never stop taking medication on your own without guidance from a certified pain specialist. Withdrawal symptoms can be severe and even dangerous, which is why you should work with a doctor to eliminate medications in a safe, measured, and comfortable way.
If you’ve become dependent on medications for chronic pain, please know you’re not alone. Many chronic pain sufferers struggle with similar issues. You don’t have to hide these challenges or cope with them by yourself. Our pain specialists offer confidential help and support for medication dependency.
Why Choose Us?
In both our Michigan and Pennsylvania locations, the Heilman Center delivers the highest standard of care in a full-service hospital setting. In addition to receiving treatment from certified pain specialists, you have the full resources of the hospital anytime you need them.
Our pain specialists also provide a level of personal attention you might not receive in other treatment centers. We don’t rush through appointments to fit in as many patients as possible. Instead, we listen, ask questions, and get to know you as a person. We’re committed to treating not just pain symptoms, but also the whole person.
If you’re seeking help for chronic pain medication dependency, our pain specialists respect your privacy by keeping treatment confidential. Upon request, we’ll help you communicate with your family about these challenging issues. We can also connect you and your family members to professional therapists who can help you communicate and start the healing process.
Make an Appointment
At the Heilman Center for Pain and Spine Care, you can count on excellent treatment and caring support from our experienced, highly qualified team. Take control of your medication management instead of letting chronic pain medication control you. Contact one of our certified pain specialists now.