Non-Narcotic Treatment for Pain
In routine medical assessments, healthcare providers take the patient's vital signs to get a baseline understanding of his or her current health status. These vital signs include heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiratory rate. However, new findings indicate that perhaps another element should be included in this assessment - level of pain. Pain causes many people to seek medical care. It can be the first symptom of an underlying illness or disease. It can be the result of a physical injury or stressor. And it can also be chronic in nature - something many patients experience without proper understanding or resulting treatment. It has been reported that chronic pain, while plaguing over 34 million people, is grossly under treated simply because pain levels are not completely assessed.
When chronic pain goes untreated or under treated, the results affect not only the patient, but also the patient's family and the economy as a whole, because his or her ability to work is compromised. It becomes necessary to use sick days or even disability insurance if the issue is serious enough. The resulting financial strain does nothing but add more stress to everyone involved.
Relatively new legislation and initiatives are in the works in an effort to reduce the under treatment of chronic pain, and address it more readily and appropriately. However, this situation presents another difficult issue, as narcotic addiction comes into play. These medications can help individuals with short term or acute pain, but on a longer timeline, the potential for developing a dependency is definitely a concern.
Because chronic pain is a widespread problem, and because long term narcotic treatment can have negative effects, alternative methods of treatment are gaining popularity - both among patients and healthcare providers alike. As always, every case is different, but seeking out alternative interventions like chiropractic care can be the first step on the road to a pain free life.
*Disclaimer: Always consult your physician or other health care professional before seeking treatment or taking related advice herein.*