Many doctors will prescribe strong painkillers for sufferers of chronic pain, but most good doctors will only do this as a last resort. The number of people who have died from accidental overdoses has increased worryingly over the last decade, with near 50,000 deaths per year being attributed to accidental drug overdose. Of course, the circumstances around drug overdoses can vary between prescribed medication and use of illegal substances for recreational purposes, but this is still a very concerning trend.
Chronic pain sufferers will often take painkillers and can get into a routine of taking them regularly, building up a tolerance level to the drugs. Then, the person will require increasing dosages of the drugs to get the same level of pain relief. This is not a good cycle to get into and should be avoided at all costs.
There are other ways that you can manage pain and it is recommended to try all alternatives before resorting to painkillers. Technology advancements mean that sufferers can easily track their pain scale to help doctors assess their medical needs better. Through having more information about the pain levels, the doctor can make more accurate recommendations.
Doctors will usually advise chronic pain sufferers to try and do moderate levels of exercise to help relieve the pain. For some, the idea of putting the affected area through painful exercises is unbearable, but this is a well-known remedy to help pain relief. It can be very tempting to rest up and even get in bed when the pain hits, but medical experts warn against this as it is, in fact, worse over the long term.
The best way to naturally relieve pain is through exercises that will strengthen muscles in the affected areas to support your joints. Swimming is highly recommended as the water resistance can help you to support your joints whilst exercising. If you have a physiotherapist, then they will usually be able to develop a personal routine of exercises that are relevant to your exact pain points and weaknesses that need to be built up in your body.
Some doctors will also recommend other treatments such as acupuncture, which is particularly effective if you suffer from back or neck pain. If you can get relief through this method, it is worthwhile trialing to see if you can avoid the need for painkillers. Heat therapy can also be used to soothe the painful area, so taking a hot bath or applying a heat pack can give you instant relief.
You can also try supplements like fish oil, as research has proven this to be effective in pain relief in many cases. Fish oil, like cod liver oil, is often used to treat joint problems and can help reduce chronic pain.
There are many different methods of trying to reduce pain levels for chronic pain sufferers, so painkillers should always be the last resort, and the consequences of using strong drugs can be so severe that every alternative treatment should be considered.