Pain MedicationPain medications are just a very small part of what we do at IPCA. We do not prescribe pain medications unless it is clear that they are helpful and are causing no or minimal harm – and we prescribe pain medications only to patients who responsibly manage their health care and who participate actively in improving their health in general and in optimizing recovery from the illness that is causing pain. For people with chronic pain conditions, it turns out that diet changes can be even better for pain control then pain medicines. Stopping smoking, controlling weight, and exercise are all essential parts of chronic pain treatment and reducing the chance of future injury and pain. Pain medications, including opioids (narcotic medication like morphine, hydrocodone, oxycodone, codeine, etc) can be an important part of pain treatment. They are certainly important in treating acute pain, such as pain after surgery. They can at times be very helpful in managing pain from painful chronic illnesses such as arthritis, nerve pain like peripheral neuropathy, back pain, headaches, and cancer.
- For selected patients, opioid medications do have a role as a part of the treatment of chronic pain. Some people can do more, be more active, think more clearly, and sleep better because of the medication they take for pain.
- However, the great enthusiasm for treating chronic pain with opioids that existed 10 – 20 years ago has been tempered by experience, which has taught us that these medications are like any other – they often they do not help enough by themselves, and for some the pain medication actually causes more problems than it solves.
- The possibility that the patient will use the medication for non-medical reasons (“addiction”)
- The possibility that the medication will be diverted to people other than the patient, for profit, etc.
- Providers know that their medical training did not train them well enough to assess a patient taking pain medication
- Real and perceived and social pressures that surround opioid treatment
About Opiods:View a sample opioid informed consent to treat patients.
This agreement is what IPCA expects from patients and is a way to learn more about opioids.
Read this compelling story of one patient’s efforts getting off of opioids