How to Treat Chronic Pain in Addiction Recovery

Written by Chloe Nicosia

The Road to a Full Recovery – How to Treat Chronic Pain in Addiction Recovery

The American Society of Addiction Medicine released facts showing just how widespread the problem of opioid abuse is in America. In 2015, over 2 million people living in the U.S. were suffering from a substance use disorder involving perception pain killers. In 2015, around 20,000 people died from overdosing on perception pain relievers. Many of the individuals who become addicted to opioids started their abuse in an effort to deal with severe pain. People who experience chronic pain in addiction recovery for which they used to take opioids for find themselves with a new problem while in drug rehab with pain management.

Risk Factors of Chronic Pain in Addiction Recovery

Treating chronic pain during recovery poses a unique challenge. The medications that are most used in the general populations, opioids, cannot be used successfully during recovery because the doses required to be effective would be detrimental to the person’s recovery. If the pain is inadequately treated during recovery, the relapse risk factor can be substantially increased. Ideally, an individual finds a drug rehab with pain management options to help them cope, without turning to traditional opioids.

Additional Causes of Chronic Pain in Addiction Recovery

In some cases, recovering addicts may experience chronic pain after they have achieved sobriety. The pain can be as a result of the addiction itself and the damage it caused, as opposed to being present before the abuse of drugs.

Common causes of chronic pain experienced during recovery include the following:

  • Recovering addicts may develop restless leg syndrome.
  • Chronic pancreatitis caused by substances such as alcohol can cause long-lasting chronic pain.
  • Alcohol abuse can also cause liver damage that can continually cause abdominal discomfort.
  • Accidents can also happen due to the risky behavior, such as drunk driving, which can lead to chronic pain.
  • Nutritional deficiencies are common in addicts due to the poor eating habits they maintain during their addiction. This can result in permanent nerve damage and subsequent chronic pain.

Chronic Pain and Addiction Treatment Centers: What are the Options?

When it comes to chronic pain and addiction treatment centers, there are several options that the professional care givers can provide patients that don’t involve the commonly prescribed opioids alone.

Each person will have their individual pain management needs assessed to help find the perfect treatment approach for them. Some of the common ways of dealing with chronic pain in addiction recovery are as follows:

  • A common treatment for opioid and alcohol dependence is known as methadone therapy. It is a drug that provides the same effects as opioids do, but in lower amounts that don’t allow for abuse as easily as commonly prescribed opioids. It can help to reduce the feelings of pain while also treating the addiction, alongside behavioral therapy.
  • There are several non-opioid based medications that are effective at managing pain during recovery, such as medications used to treat depression and prevent seizures.
  • Regular exercise can help by improving a person’s health and through the feel-good chemicals that are released during exercise. Gentle exercise can be an effective way to manage pain during recovery.
  • Alternative treatments commonly used such as yoga, acupuncture and hydrotherapy can be used in during recovery to alleviate pain and are often a part of a treatment plan.
  • Biofeedback is often used as a way to discover exactly the region and cause of pain. It allows the physician to isolate the pain through various tests, allowing the patient to more accurately do exercises to target the specific areas.

People who experience chronic pain during their recovery process are encouraged to speak to their physician about what they feel so that a solution can be worked on.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, get help right away. Make a phone call that will connect you to a professional drug treatment center. The call you make may save your life or the life of someone you love. Call us today at 1.800.429.7690.

Sources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC315480/

https://www.asam.org/docs/default-source/advocacy/opioid-addiction-disease-facts-figures.pdf