Pain Management

Physicians Offered Guidelines in the Use and Monitoring of Opioid Therapy

Understandably, physicians are cautions about giving their patients narcotics (also known as opioids). Worries about misuse, abuse, and addiction are reasonable. In this article, over a dozen highly qualified panel members offer doctors guidelines for the long-term use of opioid therapy. The target patients are those with chronic noncancer pain (CNCP).




My doctor has prescribed narcotic medications for me to help control pain from a chronic back problem I've had for 10 years. Nothing I've tried has helped. I am willing to try this, but I am worried about becoming addicted. What can I do to avoid drug addiction while still getting the benefit of the medication?

The fact that you are worried about potential abuse and addiction is a good sign. Physicians are also concerned about potential serious adverse effects of narcotic (opioid) medications. That's why they rely on guidelines for the long-term use of opioid therapy. The target patients are those like yourself who have chronic noncancer pain (CNCP).




I heard there's a new way to get at chronic sacroiliac joint pain with new radiofrequency technology. What is this? How does it work? And where can I get it?

Medical treatment for sacroiliac joint (SIJ) pain has been less than successful. Doctors have tried injecting the joint with a numbing agent and even fusing the joint in severe cases. A new treatment under investigation may change that. New water-cooled radiofrequency technology has been shown very effective in preliminary studies.




What's the difference between a nerve block and nerve degeneration? I have chronic sacroiliac joint pain, and I see on the Internet that both of these methods can work to stop the pain. But I can't tell by reading the reports what's the difference?

Nerves that innervate or tell a muscle or joint what to do can be divided into two types: sensory or motor. Sensory nerves conduct messages to the brain to tell it what's going on in the muscle or the joint. Is there pain or a change in the position or pressure within the area? The sensory nerve picks up information from sensitive receptors and relays it to the brain. Pain is a common message carried by sensory nerves.




Is it a good idea to participate in a study if you have a problem like chronic pain?

Studies are being done all over the world with the goal of improving the lives of many people who are living with chronic pain. Some of the studies involve medications, some different types of treatments, and some look at how patients act or react to pain. All these studies provide some sort of insight into chronic pain.




Chronic Pain Acceptance Questionnaire Useful Tool in Chronic Pain Assessment

With the ever increasing number of people living with chronic pain, it still appears that those who have chronic pain aren't always taken seriously by healthcare professionals. This is unfortunate because studies have shown that patients with chronic pain who are understood do much better physically and psychosocially than those who aren't understood.




My next door neighbor seems to have a problem with alcohol and now she's been given narcotics for her back pain. This doesn't seem like a good idea to us. Whatever could her doctor be thinking?

Prescription opiates (narcotic drugs) have been dispensed much more freely in the last few years. Part of this is because research has shown that not everyone automatically becomes a drug addict taking these medications. Many people with chronic pain are helped.




Our son was hospitalized over the weekend for a drug overdose. We almost lost him. We knew he was taking pain killers for a back injury. We just didn't know how much pain he was in, or that he was taking too many pills. Isn't there some way for doctors to monitor this a little more closely? Everything he was taking was by prescription.

Unintentional drug overdose can be a major problem when treating chronic back pain. Patients aren't always honest about their pain levels or the amount of medication they are taking. Sometimes they go doctor shopping. This refers to a pattern of going from doctor to doctor getting multiple prescriptions for the same type of drugs.




Experiment With Opioid Pain Killers Failed

Opioid (narcotic) medications for pain relief have been in the center of an ongoing controversy for years now. Yes, they provide pain relief for pain sufferers. But they are potentially addictive. And one of the most severe adverse side effects is death from unintentional overdose.




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