Why Medication Isn’t the Best Option for Chronic Pain

Posted on Mar 1st 2023


Why Medication Isn’t the Best Option for Chronic Pain

When chronic pain begins to negatively impact your everyday life, it’s natural to seek effective and affordable treatment to improve your symptoms as soon as possible. Pain medications ranging from opioids to over-the-counter drugs are commonly prescribed and recommended to people with chronic pain. However, much scientific research suggests this is not the best option. Learn why medication may not be the answer and discover additional treatment options with Chronic Care of Richmond.

1. Taking pain medications does not address the root of the problem

One reason medication is not the best treatment option for chronic pain is that pain medication does not actually address the problem. Chronic pain can occur in various areas of the body and be caused by countless conditions and injuries. Treating the source of the pain is the best method for getting rid of chronic pain once and for all. Prescribing and recommending pain medications will only mask the issue.

Women with a hurt neck.

2. Pain medications present serious risks and side effects

Pain medications can come with substantial risks and considerable side effects, especially when taken over long periods. In fact, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense recently issued guidelines that oppose opioid therapy for chronic pain.

Risks and side effects of opioids can include:

  • Opioid use disorder, especially in younger patients
  • Overdose
  • Seizures
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Itchiness
  • Drowsiness and trouble concentrating
  • Problems using the bathroom
  • Low sex drive or decreased fertility
  • Trouble breathing

While over-the-counter pain medications such as aspirin and Ibuprofen (NSAIDs) are more commonplace, they are not harmless. Using NSAIDs for an extended period can cause:

  • Liver complications
  • Kidney problems
  • Heart problems
  • Blood circulation issues

Even short-term use of NSAIDs can cause side effects such as:

  • Digestive issues
  • Headache and dizziness
  • Swelling
  • Chest pain

While relief from chronic pain is extremely important, many patients are understandably unwilling to put their overall health at risk by using pain medications long-term.

3. Pain medication is not a sustainable treatment plan

In addition to harmful side effects and failure to treat the root cause of chronic pain, the body, over time, builds tolerance to pain medications. This causes pain medication to become less effective at masking painful symptoms. Therefore, taking pain medication is not a sustainable treatment plan.

A young man looking very sad and in pain because of pain medication abuse.

Chronic Pain Treatment with Chronic Care of Richmond

Fortunately, chronic pain treatment plans from Chronic Care of Richmond do not include pain medication or surgery. Instead of staying stuck on a medication that could harm you in the long run, explore non-invasive treatment options from Chronic Care of Richmond. These treatments address the source of your chronic pain to help you achieve relief.

Get your ideal life back and free yourself from the burden of chronic pain. Request a consultation today!