The use of opioid therapy for treating chronic pain conditions has increased substantially in recent years, but so has the awareness of its risks. Doctors look for the underlying cause of a patient’s pain, and a lower-risk treatment will be tried before prescribing a narcotic such as an opioid drug.
There are tests that can help a physician determine the patient’s level of pain. For example, elevated blood pressure is one sign that the patient is in pain. If the patient normally has a blood pressure reading of 130/80, and they complain of excruciating pain and their blood pressure reads 210/100, that is a clinical indication of pain.
Is Opioid Therapy Effective for Pain?
Chronic pain is described as any pain that lasts longer than three months. Opioids have been traditionally reserved for palliative care during end-of-life cancers or other conditions where the pain is known to be severe, but today’s pain-management therapies may include an opiate prescription if milder medications have not lessened the patient’s pain – and if the physician believes that the patient is not likely to become addicted to the substance based on their medical history.
Doctors now take a multifaceted approach to treating pain. This may include a combination of physical therapy, biofeedback, pain-relief injections, and possibly acupuncture or other non-medication methods. This system is designed to help lessen the pain with less emphasis on prescription drugs like opioids.
When opioid therapy is prescribed, it demands a partnership between the patient and doctor where the goal is a reduction in the patient’s pain levels with careful monitoring. Opiates are usually combined with other types of therapy for maximum effectiveness in reducing pain.
How Is Opioid Therapy Monitored?
Patients who endure chronic pain from any number of health issues are presented with a pain management contract in order to be prescribed an opioid therapy. The patient must provide a list of all of their current medications and be ready for a drug screening. This is done in an attempt to prevent patients from abusing pain medications.
In an effort to curtail opioid drug abuse, the patient must regularly visit their doctor, use only one pharmacy, and refrain from any associated criminal activity. Prescription-drug abuse has created an awkward crime subset that includes buying or selling portions of their or another’s prescriptions. This is a violation that is usually cause for termination of care.
Health Care Clinic for Pain Management
Our medical team at Lynx Healthcare will meet with patients to determine which, if any, opioid therapy may be beneficial to them. Non-opioid treatments for chronic pain are tried first, before resorting to opioid therapy.
Our focus is on safe and effective treatment for pain. There are tremendous risks involved with any opioid therapy, because there always exists the possibility of misuse and abuse.
If you or someone you know has chronic pain, learn about our multifaceted program at Lynx Healthcare. We offer many different approaches to bring relief for pain patients, and that includes non-opioid measures including corticosteroid injections and therapeutic measures – all designed to help in overcoming pain.
If you would like to learn more, call us today at (509) 591-0070 or request a consultation online, and take the first step toward a pain-free life.