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Pain Management without Chemistry

Pain need not be unmanageable to those in recovery. While prescription medications may appear to be the fastest solution for managing pain, those in recovery need to be especially careful about using medications with potentially addicting qualities.

Pain is the body’s way of saying, “something needs attention”. Not all pain can or should be eliminated by chemical means. Pain may be a temporary message, such as “you strained too hard” when lifting something or “time to take a break” from strenuous activities. Simple rest can help relieve pain in some cases. When rest is not enough to deal with the pain from over-exertion, muscle strengthening exercises may be an effective strategy for reducing pain from exertion for the long-term.

Even those in very good shape occasionally experience pain beyond what rest or exercise will relieve. There are many options for managing pain for those who wish to avoid use of controlled substances. Pain management clinics and specialists can provide an array of services, options, and referrals for one in recovery who struggles with pain. Just of few of the options include: massage, aroma therapy, acupuncture/acupressure, guided imagery, mindfulness practices, and yoga.

For those whose pain is severe, a candid discussion with one’s primary care physician is important. Doctors, dentists, any professionals who prescribe medications, need to know that one is in recovery from drug and/or alcohol use. There may be non-addicting analgesics and other options they can recommend. When prescription medications are necessary, close collaboration between your doctor and your recovery professionals is essential.

Today I will recognize that my aches and pains are my body’s way of communicating with me. I will seek non-chemical alternatives to managing my discomfort and strengthening my body.

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