When it comes to pain management, there is a role for medications, like opiates.
But there are alternatives, including chiropractic care, massage therapy, yoga, aromatherapy, and several more.
Dr. Henke works for a non-profit alcohol and drug treatment facility. They offer drug-free pain management to their patients, and she says insurance is much more likely to cover it than they were, a few years ago.
She says even if you have a disease that requires opioids, like end-stage cancer, there is always a place for these alternatives. It’s all about strengthening and stretching your body, to help it heal, or at least improve, naturally.
“If you take pain medication, it’s going to blunt that pain for a period of time and then it’s going to go away. But if you can actually make your muscles stronger and your body more efficient, those benefits are going to be longer-lasting,” shared Melissa Henke the Medical Director at Heartview Foundation.
Dr. Henke says physical, occupational and psychotherapy have been around for decades, as alternative treatments. But in the late 1990s, opioids became more prominent.
She says opioids will always play a role in certain cases of pain management, but they have been over-used for too long.