Opting Against Opioids

An Interview With Our Nurse Practitioner Courtney

You may have noticed that every time you hear a news story it mentions the opioid crisis in America. So what is the opioid crisis and why is it such a big deal?

The opioid crisis (also referred to as the opioid epidemic) began in the late 1990’s after the pharmaceutical companies that produce prescription pain medications promised the public that there was not an increased risk of becoming addicted to their medication. After hearing this news, medical providers felt comfortable prescribing them for their patients. Flash forward to the year 2017, nearly 20 years after the increased prescriptions of opioids began to occur, and pain medications have caused a public health emergency due to their highly addictive nature and their inappropriate use.

What Are Opioids?

What is an opioid medication? According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids are a group of drugs that include heroin (which is not prescribed) and prescription drugs that include fentanyl, oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, which are all meant for pain management in patients. Unfortunately, the opioid class of drugs is very addictive, and can be difficult for patients to wean off of especially after they have experienced a traumatic injury to their body or surgery. It is even more difficult to wean off of opioid medications if the patient has been using them for a long period of time.

Although doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants have all been trying to play a role in decreasing the prescriptions they write for opioid medications, they are still available illegally on the streets. The high potential for these drugs to be abused (used in a way that they were not intended for) is also problematic; a recent study in 2018 found that about 2 % of 12th graders had used oxycodone and 1.5% had used Vicodin when a medical provider had not prescribed these medications for them.

What Pain Management Options Does Bodyology Offer?

Why do I feel the need to bring you this information? For starters, you as a patient have the right to know what options are available to you for treating your pain, and if your medical doctor feels that opioids might be appropriate for you, you should be knowledgeable on their risks and benefits. Secondly, the opioid crisis is one that affects our neighbors, family, kids, and friends, so we all need to play our role in beating this epidemic. Lastly, I bring up this topic because at Bodyology, we are able to offer you a different option in treating your pain that doesn’t involve pain medications and their side effects.

Bodyology utilizes alternative therapeutic medicine in the form of laser therapy, dry needling, and acoustic wave treatments. I want to highlight a few reasons on what these treatments are and why they are an excellent choice for most patients with an array of chronic conditions and/or injuries that cause them to experience pain.

Laser Therapy

Our laser therapy, also called high dose laser therapy, is the most advance of its kind of the market for use in chronic and acute pain, neuropathy, and non-healing wounds. The first question people ask is: does it hurt? The answer is no-in fact, depending on the type of treatment setting you receive, you may not feel the laser at all. With other treatment settings, patients can expect to feel a mild warmth that the laser puts off.

The second question people have is: how is this little laser beam able to heal me from the inside out and take away my pain? Our laser is the strongest on the market as I mentioned earlier, which means it penetrates deep past the surface of your skin, reaching your muscles, bone, and blood vessels. The laser provides energy to your cells, which your cells then turn into healing superpowers. How? As your body absorbs the energy from the beam, blood flow increases, and the healers of your body (white blood cells, growth hormones, stem cells) are able to get to the site of your injury more quickly. As your natural healers began to work their magic, the junky buildup that causes inflammation at the site of your injury are fought off and flushed away. As all of these things are happening, your nerve cells are being soothed and relaxed, so you feel immediate pain relief.

Why is it important that all of the gunky buildup at the site of your acute/chronic pain or athletic injury is broken down and flushed away? The root of the problem of most of our chronic and acute pain is inflammation, and when our tissues are inflamed, they are angry and unable to heal. Often times you are told to apply heat or ice to the area, which is okay to do, but it only provides a temporary band aid effect on the inflammation, it doesn’t really do anything to treat it. Other times, you are told to take medications to decrease your inflammation, but taking too much of the medication can result in bleeding, upset stomach, or liver injury, giving you a whole new set of problems.

Dry Needling

A second therapy I mentioned is dry needling. Yes, it involves needles, but they are as small as the ones used in acupuncture and most patients don’t even feel them.  Unlike acupuncture, our certified and specially trained physical therapist looks for knots in your muscle; when she finds one, she places a tiny needle into the knot. Although you don’t feel the needle going in, a lot is happening below the surface of your skin. Your body senses the needle and sends in those super-healing powers I mentioned earlier. As your bodies own healers arrive to the site of the muscle, they begin to break down the inflammation that exists there, healing your muscle and releasing the knot, and reducing your pain.

Acoustic Wave Therapy

Lastly, let’s talk about acoustic wave therapy. Most patients compare the sensation of this non-invasive treatment to a medical-massage. A handheld device is applied to the site of your pain by one of our trained and certified staff. Inside of the handheld device, a reaction is occurring that results in waves being sent deep below the surface of your skin. These waves break up any build up in its path, you guessed it, inflammation and gunk that has collected at the site of injury. All the build-up is then broken apart and flushed away through your body’s natural flowing system (your lymphatic system). In medical studies, acoustic wave treatments have helped heal patients’ chronic conditions better than surgery in some instances, and in many cases, the acoustic waves have helped patients avoid surgery altogether.

I hope this information helps you understand a little better in regards to how our treatments can help you heal your chronic conditions and treat your pain. We are proud to say that we are able to heal the pain that you have lived with for so long without single prescription medication. We instead treat you with therapies that truly heal you from the inside out.

Please call us today if you have any questions or would like to learn more about the treatments we offer!

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