Chronic pain is a real thing for millions of people around the world. Defined as pain experienced for longer than 3-6 months – outside the normal course of an acute injury – chronic pain is often life altering. It can be debilitating in some cases. This has led to an entirely new medical specialty, of sorts: chronic pain management.
The thing about treating chronic pain is that there are never any guarantees. Take the doctors at Weatherford, Texas based Lone Star Pain Medicine. They have a lengthy list of available chronic pain treatments ranging from facet joint injections to lumbar blocks. They can say with relative certainty that their treatments work for many of their patients. But they can never guarantee a treatment will work in every case.
Come to think of it, that’s really the story of all Western medicine. We know what certain drugs will do for the human body. We know how the body should respond to things like physical therapy and surgical procedures. But when push comes to shove, every patient is a unique individual with a separate and distinct response to medical care. Any doctor will tell you that patients react differently to identical treatments.
No Magic Pill
As beneficial as Western medicine has proved to be, it is not perfect. It has its flaws. One of its biggest flaws is its ability to convince people that there is a pill for everything. It is no secret that Western medicine is built around the concept of pharmacology. Western doctors are pretty much trained to be dispensers of drugs rather than healers.
Common sense tells us there is no magic pill to cure everything that ails us. Nor is there a single surgery, therapy, or medical device. Not even psychiatry and psychology can solve all of our problems. When it comes to chronic pain, there are too many variables to guarantee 100% relief.
The Need for Choices
By now you might be wondering where this discussion is leading. If so, the point is this: the need for choices in the medical environment has never been more apparent that it is today. Patients need as many choices as possible. They need to be given all of their options for managing chronic pain. If nothing else, we have learned that much from the opioid crisis.
Opioids are a great tool for masking pain. But they are also a dangerous tool. Opioids should be for short-term use only. Putting patients on long-term opioid prescriptions is harmful to their physical and mental health. But what other options are there?
More Than You Might Know
Most people do not realize just how many options are out there. Most of the chronic pain treatments you would find at Lone Star Pain Medicine are considered traditional treatments with plenty of history behind them. They can be combined with pharmacological and surgical treatments when necessary.
When patients are not happy with traditional treatments, there are more options still. For example, regenerative medicine may offer significant relief to people who suffer from chronic pain as a result of osteoarthritis or serious musculoskeletal injury.
Medical cannabis is another alternative treatment now being utilized more than ever before. Some medical cannabis users even report being able to get completely away from opioids after making the switch.
In the end, there are never any guarantees when treating chronic pain. That’s why patients need as many choices as possible. The greater the number of available options, the greater the chances a patient will find the relief they need. On the other hand, limiting options makes it more difficult to treat chronic pain.