“Nature has the power to heal because it is where we are from, it is where we belong and it belongs to us as an essential part of our health and our survival.” – Nooshin Razani

Anyone who has suffered from some degree of chronic pain knows the sense of desperation and even hopelessness that can come from long-term suffering. And it is this condition that can push people to seek out relief from medications. The danger is that the treatment can often become its own problem.

When Over-the-Counter Meds Fail to Bring Relief

The vast majority of pain sufferers find that some aspirin or ibuprofen can often provide a sufficient amount of relief until the pain diminishes on its own. Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers include acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen and diclofenac gel.

According to WebMD,

“Both acetaminophen and NSAIDs reduce fever and relieve pain caused by muscle aches and stiffness, but only NSAIDs can also reduce inflammation (swelling and irritation). Acetaminophen and NSAIDs also work differently. NSAIDs relieve pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain. Acetaminophen works on the parts of the brain that receive the ‘pain messages.’ NSAIDs are also available in a prescription strength that can be prescribed by your physician.”

For chronic pain sufferers, however, a point is often reached where no safe amount of over-the-counter (OTC) drugs brings any pain relief.

And that’s when many people turn to their doctors for something stronger.

Opioids Bring Pain Relief – And a Crisis of Addiction

We’ve probably all heard of the so-called “opioid epidemic” that has arisen from what some say is the over-prescribing of these drugs. But what are they?

Essentially, opioids are narcotic-based pain medications that contain natural, synthetic or semi-synthetic opiates. They are often used for acute pain, such as short-term pain after surgery, but also for long-term, chronic pain.

Some examples of common opioids include:

  • Codeine
  • Fentanyl
  • Hydrocodone-acetaminophen (Vicodin)
  • Morphine
  • Oxycodone
  • Oxycodone-acetaminophen (Percocet)

They are popular because they’re very effective for severe pain and do not cause bleeding in the stomach or other parts of the body, as some other types of pain relievers are prone to do. However, they can be extremely addictive and many doctors will opt for alternatives to prescribing them.

How addictive are they? The Mayo Clinic notes that,

“Opioid painkillers are highly addictive. After just five days of prescription opioid use, the likelihood that you’ll develop long-term dependence on these drugs rises steeply — increasing your risk of eventual addiction and overdose. And you don’t need a prescription to be at risk. In fact, most people who misuse prescription painkillers report getting them from a family member or friend.”

In 2017 HHS declared a public health emergency to combat the crisis, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared the crisis an epidemic. The CDC provides detailed statistics on the breadth and severity of the epidemic of opioid addiction.

“Drug overdose deaths continue to increase in the United States. From 1999 to 2017, more than 702,000 people have died from a drug overdose. In 2017, more than 70,000 people died from drug overdoses, making it a leading cause of injury-related death in the United States. Of those deaths, almost 68% involved a prescription or illicit opioid.”

Unfortunately, the damage is worsening despite public outcry and a myriad of government efforts and initiatives to combat it. The federal government’s drug abuse website at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports,

“2018 data shows that every day, 128 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total ‘economic burden’ of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.”

Clearly, for anyone suffering from chronic pain that could be treated with narcotic-based drugs, seeking out alternatives could literally be a matter of life or death.  The good news is that Pain and Performance Solutions can help those suffering from recurring or chronic pain.

We offer a variety of therapies and tools to deal with pain, and one approach we often rely on is known as Active Release Technique ® or ART®.

We begin by starting with a physical examination. And, once a diagnosis has been determined based on your history and our examination, a suitable treatment can be applied. ART® is generally performed with a direct contact with the patient’s skin.

The ART® treatment consists of over 500 specific movements that can be used and that are unique to this therapy technique. These movements allow us to find the area to be worked on. During the process, we will either have you actively move a body part or passively move the body part. What we are able to observe from these movements gives us the ability to identify and correct the specific problems causing the chronic pain in your body.

Chronic Pain Relief With Pain and Performance Solutions

For chronic pain, the first step in recovery and relief is letting us get to know you and your pain issues. Once you make your first appointment, we’ll want to learn about your present discomfort as well as any history of discomfort.

After a full examination, we can determine which form of treatment is needed to help you on your road to recovery. Because our bodies will try to compensate for pain, you may find you can move on with your day. However, by shifting that pain around to compensate for your discomfort, this can lead to other forms of pain.

Getting chronic pain relief with therapies such as Active Release Technique® can only begin when we can understand where your pain started. That could mean it started previously with another injury you might have sustained.

Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body working properly and healthy is the only way to achieve total recovery. So, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any, and all questions that you may have.

You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.