Living with symptoms of chronic pain is debilitating, agitating, and tiring. Unfortunately, for many living with chronic pain, instead of being given the opportunity to utilize different therapies to reduce pain, prescription narcotics are provided to help. And, as a result, thousands of chronic pain patients develop dependence and addictive behaviors every year. While helping chronic pain patients with addiction is a challenging task, there is hope for these patients to establish a life without the use of addictive prescriptions as well as alternative options for therapy that reduce pain.
Explaining Chronic Pain and the Different Categories of Pain
Basically, chronic pain is when a person experiences pain for a prolonged period of time, even after an injury has healed. Additionally, chronic pain can either occur frequently or last for days without ceasing. There are many types of pain one can experience, and they can all be either chronic or acute (short-term).
To help patients best determine methods of treatment for chronic pain, it’s important to get a diagnosis which determines which category of pain a person is experiencing. The category of pain one experiences is determined by how the pain is being processed in the brain, what caused it, and its specific attributes. Some categories of types of pain include:
Neuropathic: This is when pain continues after an injury heals due to central nervous system damage. Usually, the injury damages the nerves surrounding the injured site, leading to the sustained chronic pain symptoms one experiences. Many patients report tingling, burning, and electrical effects resulting from this type of pain.
Nociceptive: This is the basic term for types of pain caused by overactive pain receptors residing in the tissue of the skin and muscle.
Psychogenic: This type of pain is the result of dealing with emotional and psychological trauma. A good example of this type of pain is experiencing headaches or abdominal pain as a result of anxiety or depression.
Somatic: A type of nociceptive pain, somatic pain is the most general type of pain and is usually the result of some type of injury to the body. In 90% or somatic pain cases, the pain is due to inflammation. And, most chronic somatic pain cases are the result of unending inflammation of an injured site.
Visceral: Another type of nociceptive pain, visceral pain is experiencing pain due to the injury of a specific organ. Most commonly, this pain is not in a specific location, but rather, as it affects an entire organ, surrounds the area of that organ.
Prescription Opioids for Dealing with Chronic Pain
Sadly, many doctors will give chronic pain patients addictive opioid narcotics to help deal with chronic pain symptoms. However, the truth is that opioid prescriptions should be the last ditch effort for dealing with chronic pain. Unfortunately, many chronic pain patients realize this too much. Some of the addictive chronic pain medications many patients are prescribed include:
If you have been prescribed a prescription medication like one listed above, do not attempt to stop use without consulting your doctor or a medication specialist. After a person uses addictive substances, including opioid prescriptions, for a prolonged period of time, withdrawal symptoms occur. These are adverse reactions to the substance no longer being in the body’s systems. And, withdrawal symptoms can be dangerous if they are not managed with proper medications or with the instruction from a healthcare professional.
Getting Help for Chronic Pain and Addiction
Individuals who want to find alternatives to dealing with chronic pain will first have to detox from their opioid prescription medications. Here at Diablo Valley Drug & Alcohol Services, we offer detox for a number of types of opioids in a safe, comfortable, outpatient environment. Furthermore, we offer a number of treatments and therapies to help to determine the best way each individual can live with their chronic pain symptoms without the use of addictive medications. If you’re ready to find alternatives to managing your chronic pain and throw your pain pills away, we are here for you. Give us a call today to speak with one of our experienced representatives confidentially at (925) 289-1430.