The centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued hard-nosed guidelines, stressing the use of non-opioid options for chronic pain. The strictures are in line with research that suggests lesser pharmaceutical options work at least as well for many sufferers, without the dangerous possibility of dependence.
Numerous studies, including one that followed 240 veterans with ongoing, disabling knee and back pain seem to debunk opioids status as king of pain relief, all of which leaves practitioners with queries as to what next. Exercise may propose limited help for some. However, the most intriguing option seems to arise from the realm of neuroscience, which is looking at how pain affects the brain. Sufferers appear to lack a significant chemical, capable of calming neural activity. Further study could lead to a breakthrough on how to use the brain to stop pain elsewhere in the body.
- These addictive options are often no more helpful than Ibuprofen, or Paracetamol.
- It’s been estimated in the U.S. that more people die from accidental overdose, in one year, than died in the entire Vietnam war.
- Research into how the brain both serves to create and interpret pain could lead to new and innovative methodologies for pain treatment.
“The data do not support opioids’ reputation as ‘powerful painkillers”