Effective pain management and avoiding a potential prescription drug trap is possible if you are willing to do the footwork and follow a strategic treatment plan using a collaborative multi-disciplinary treatment team. With the proper treatment plan and support, people living with chronic pain can have successful treatment outcomes. They can move from being a passive recipient (i.e., victim) to being an active participant in their healing process, leading them to once again feeling empowered and experiencing a higher quality of life.
I believe that effective chronic pain management needs a three-part treatment approach. Appropriate prescription pain medication is necessary for many people living with chronic pain. However, if you have a family (genetic) history of addictive disorders or other mental health problems in your family or yourself extra precautions need to be taken with some medications.
In addition, you should know there are biological, psychological, and social factors that need to be addressed when you live with chronic pain. In fact, the most important part is learning how to differentiate between the physical (biological) and psychological (thinking and feeling) components of your pain. The medication is meant to treat or address the physical symptoms but you are at risk for problems when you use your medication to cope with or manage the psychological symptoms.
Using nonpharmacological (non-medical) interventions is the third type of treatment approach that I believe is crucial for effective pain management. There are literally thousands of possible nonpharmacological interventions and each person will have different needs. Some of the common interventions include meditation, biofeedback, emotional management, acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, hydrotherapy, etc. Other possibilities include people learning to make peace with their pain or focusing on something else pleasant or rewarding besides the pain condition. The only limitation to developing nonpharmacological interventions is your imagination or the imagination of your healthcare providers.
To learn more about chronic pain management please check out our website at www.addiction-free.com and go to our Publications page and check out my book Managing Pain and Coexisting Disorders: Using the Addiction-Free Pain Management® System. You can also check out our Articles page to download my free article Avoiding the Prescription Drug Trap.