Opioid pain medications – when taken safely and correctly – can help increase the functioning of a chronic pain patient. However, for every person that takes prescription opioid pain medications responsibly, there are those that do not. If misused, opioids can be deadly. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an estimated 40% of opioid overdose deaths in 2016 involved a prescription opioid. This issue has reached epidemic proportions, as opioid overdose deaths now number higher than heroin and cocaine overdose deaths combined.
The physicians and advanced practitioners at The Pain Center understand prescription opioid pain medications can be helpful in treating some patients’ chronic pain. However, opioids should not be used long-term, nor should a patient become dependent on opioid medication to make it through a day. Patient safety is our top priority, so our approach when it comes to opioids for pain management is to utilize conservative, evidence-based prescribing.
Our pain specialists perform a comprehensive history and physical examination with each patient, and use various testing tools to get to the bottom of pain symptoms. Based on the diagnosis, our providers work with each patient to select the treatment path to best meet the patient’s pain management goals. Our pain management specialists are dedicated to finding treatment options for our patients that do not involve powerful prescription opioid pain medications. Treatments and therapies may include pumps, injections, non-opioid pain medication, and/or minimally-invasive interventional treatments. Opioid therapy is only considered when more conservative methods have not been effective, and the expected benefits for both pain and function are anticipated to outweigh risks to patient safety. Our pain specialists adhere to federal and state opioid prescribing guidelines and requirements and regularly evaluate whether opioids continue to meet a patient’s treatment goals, signs of opioid use disorder, and whether opioid dosage can be reduced or discontinued.
At The Pain Center, we understand that pain is an individual experience, and the treatments that may work for one patient may not work for another patient with the same condition. Our pain management specialists are dedicated to finding solutions that will help treat the cause of your pain, rather than cover up pain symptoms.
For more information about ways to control your chronic pain, talk to the specialists at The Pain Center. Call 623.516.8252 or click here to schedule an appointment at one of our ten convenient Arizona locations.
The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.