A recent article from Consumer Reports detailed the effectiveness of non-opioid alternatives to managing both chronic and post-surgery pain.
Our board-certified, orthopedic surgeons in Austin are seeing more cases of chronic pain currently as it tends to flare up now in winter months with cooler, damper weather– typically lower back pain, neck pain, and joint pain.
Many will primarily seek out medicine to treat this type of pain.
With approximately one third of all adults ages 50 to 80 years claiming to have filled a prescription for pain killers within the past two years (according to a University of Michigan poll)–and as many as a quarter of them battling long-term addiction–here are some safer ways we suggest managing chronic pain:
- Using heating pads to lessen stiffness.
- Applying cold compresses or ice for up to 20 minutes at a time to ease swelling and inflammation.
- Getting a massage or receiving acupuncture.
- Practicing gentle yoga, tai chi, or regular stretching.
- Performing light exercises such as walking or swimming.
- Taking over-the-counter ibuprofen (like Advil or generic) or naproxen (such as Aleve or generic).
Another effective method we use frequently to treat chronic pain is dry needling. Our pain management specialists insert a series of thread-like needles at specific points on the skin to disrupt pain signals.
Experts recommend seeing your physician if pain persists for more than a week or two. For an appointment with one of our orthopedic surgeons and sports injury doctors, please call us at (512) 439-1000 or contact us here.
(Adapted from Consumer Reports-Health)