The votes are in and everyone agrees: pain is bad. But what everyone does not agree on is how to treat pain most effectively in a fiscally sensible manner.
As you may know, “acute” pain lasts less than 30 days, “subacute” pain lasts one to six months, and “chronic” pain lasts more than six months. All pain severities warrant different therapy options—typically oral or topical, depending on each patient’s individual needs.
Oral therapies commonly prescribed for pain management are categorized in three ways:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., Advil, Aleve, etc.);
- Narcotics (opioids [e.g., Vicodin, OxyContin, etc.]); and
- Adjuvants (e.g., antidepressants, local anesthetics, etc.).
Opioids, specifically, have been used for thousands of years, dating back to 3400 B.C. when Sumerians were consuming the opium poppy. Today’s versions can be effective but often cause complications and side effects such as sedation, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, physical dependence, tolerance, and respiratory depression.1 They’ve also been found to irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing an increase in acid reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). // Download to read more