Up to 40% of Americans suffer from chronic pain. Chronic pain is associated with an increased chance of developing anxiety, depression, and other stress-related disorders. When perpetual pain triggers and sends stress signals to the brain, the sufferer feels a heightened perception of the discomfort itself. Chronic pain creates a vicious cycle that can be difficult to manage and break.
Medications were once the go-to option to treat chronic pain, but many people have turned to proven, alternative methods to relieve discomfort. At our practice in Providence, Rhode Island, we use holistic medicine to target the source of chronic pain and treat a person’s body, mind, spirit, and emotions. In this article, we discuss four advantages that holistic medicine has over traditional pain management.
1. Tailored Treatment Plans
If you had a small scratch on your arm, it would make sense to put a band-aid on it to stop the bleeding. However, if that small scratch was caused by a rusty nail, a band-aid wouldn’t be sufficient. In the same way, a cookie-cutter solution is ineffective for pain management.
Because the source of discomfort differs and severity ranges from person to person, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to managing pain. For example, people experience migraines for different reasons and must be treated differently. Migraines caused by hormonal changes require different treatment than migraines triggered by stress or allergies. Focusing on treating the underlying conditions can be more effective than treating symptoms of migraine.
2. Fresh Approach to Pain Management
Chronic pain sufferers may worry about the side effects of taking traditional pain prescriptions for an extended period. Sometimes, pain medications fail or become ineffective over time. When patients feel jaded by outdated pain management techniques, holistic programs can be a breath of fresh air.
3. Fewer Consequences
While pain medications may work for some people, in others, the side effects may outweigh the benefits. Side effects associated with pain medication include nausea, drowsiness, and heart complications. Holistic doctors focus on creating a symbiosis within the body’s internal functions, natural healing, and releasing endorphins.
4. Reduced Risk of Dependence
Some pain prescriptions are to blame for a national crisis. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that 50,000 Americans died from opioid-involved overdoses in 2019. Opioids are highly addictive and can lead to misuse, dependency, and transition to more potent drugs (such as heroin or fentanyl). Opioid mismanagement is also associated with the rise of neonatal abstinence syndrome in newborn babies and the spread of HIV and hepatitis C.
Two decades ago, opioids were considered a non-habit-forming method of treating pain. Today, doctors understand that some pain medications are potentially dangerous. Opioid-dependent patients or those not interested in starting this drug can speak to their doctors about which holistic therapies are suitable for their type of pain.
Holistic Medicine in Rhode Island
Patients who want to explore the holistic perspective of pain management, whether alone or in conjunction with traditional medicine, are advised to communicate with their healthcare provider before starting and stopping any treatment. At The Biomed Center of New England, our dedicated team educates patients about a wide array of patient-centered techniques. If you are interested in additional information about holistic medicine in Rhode Island, call (401) 443-4007 or book an initial appointment conveniently online to schedule a pain management program consultation as soon as possible.