Treat Pain Without Opiates at Pacific Health Systems San Diego

Pain is often a normal response to an acute illness or injury –
a way to let your body know that something’s wrong.

But pain that persists for weeks, months, or even years becomes a problem in itself, negatively impacting your mental health, your emotional wellbeing, and your ability to participate in daily life.

According to the National Institute of Health, one in four Americans suffers from chronic pain, and to combat the symptoms, doctors across the country have written millions of prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Unfortunately, the addictive nature of these medications has led to a dramatic increase in prescription drug abuse, health complications, and overdose deaths.

Because of the risks associated with opiate painkillers, many doctors and patients are turning to alternative methods of treatment for chronic pain. At Pacific Health Systems, we help our patients develop safe, effective, individualized plans for alleviating pain – without the use of addictive opioids.

Enjoy a Pain Free Life Again. Contact Us Today  (619) 267-9257

Common Causes of Chronic Pain

There are a wide variety of reasons why people suffer from chronic pain, but some of the more commonly reported causes include:

  • Arthritis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Cancer
  • Nerve damage
  • Persistent headaches
  • Lower back injuries

Chronic pain can also be present without evidence of any current or past injury or ailment. Furthermore, pain manifests itself differently in different people, and perceptions and responses to pain vary from person to person. These variables can make treatment challenging, but at Pacific Health Systems, we’re committed to providing treatment plans tailored to each patient’s specific chronic pain condition.

Alternatives to Opiates for Pain Management

We offer both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments for managing chronic pain.

Pharmacologic Treatments

Both over-the-counter and prescription medications can be used to control chronic pain without the addictive side effects. Some oral and topical medications used include:

Some prescription antidepressants can be effective in alleviating pain, even when depression isn’t a factor. Tricyclic antidepressants are most commonly prescribed and are sometimes used in conjunction with anticonvulsants to improve symptoms.

Considered to be safer than systemic medications, local anesthetics can treat the pain directly at the source. Doctors may recommend topical ointments, such as NSAIDs, lidocaine, or capsaicin, for both neuropathic and musculoskeletal pain.

Sometimes pain can be controlled or prevented by numbing a targeted group of nerves, called a plexus or a ganglion, with injections of local anesthetics. Nerve blocks are available for various parts of the face, neck, back, shoulder, arms, abdomen, and pelvis.
Implanted drug pumps deliver pain medication directly into the cerebrospinal fluid, allowing for fast-acting treatment in lower doses with a reduced chance of harmful side effects. Pain pumps are usually short-term solutions, but may be prescribed if you’ve tried other treatment approaches with no significant relief.

Non-Pharmacologic Treatments

Medication isn’t the only way to relieve the symptoms of chronic pain. Many effective alternative treatments include:

Physical therapists work with patients to strengthen muscles, increase flexibility, and teach new and effective methods of movement. They also play a crucial role in identifying the causes of pain to alleviate the problem at its source.

Research shows acupuncture is effective in treating a variety of chronic pain conditions. By inserting thin needles into special “acupoints,” acupuncture can help your body release endorphins to naturally ease your discomfort.

Short for transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, TENS delivers a low-voltage electrical current through your skin via strategically placed electrodes. The current then sends signals to your brain that interfere with your normal pain receptors.
Similarly, the heat generated by radio waves can temporarily prevent certain nerves from transmitting pain signals. Administered using carefully placed needles, radiofrequency therapy can provide months – or even years – of pain relief.

Chronic Pain Management at Pacific Health Systems

If you’ve been suffering from chronic pain, Pacific Health Systems can help improve your symptoms – and your quality of life. To find out more about our options for non-opiate chronic pain treatment, call us at (619) 267-9257.

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