Zulidany Cortez came to the emergency room at Amita Health Adventist Medical Center Bolingbrook when she could no longer take the pain from a wrist she hurt moving furniture.
In the midst of an epidemic, doctors are trying to pivot to alternative methods of pain management
If you struggle with chronic pain, the greatest pain relief usually comes when you combine therapies—an approach called comprehensive pain management, says Steven Stanos, D.O., president of American Academy of Pain Medicine and medical director of Swedish Pain Services in Seattle. For instance, you might add hands-on care from a physical therapist or chiropractor to relaxation techniques, medication, and exercise (cardio soothes pain by pumping out endogenous opioids, your body’s natural analgesic drugs, Dr. Stanos says).
Rush University Medical Center’s Dr. Asokumar Buvanendran is among the first interventional pain medicine specialists in the country to implant a newly approved spinal cord stimulation device that automatically adjusts the amount of pain-blocking electrical impulses according to shifts in body position, providing another non-opioid option for chronic pain sufferers.
Buvanendran surgically implanted the Intellis Implantable Spinal Cord Stimulator device Sept. 21 under the skin of the lower back of a 72-year-old, retired New York City Police officer who has suffered debilitating chronic pain for several years.
Rate plateaus as doctors are urged to recommend nondrug pain treatments
The number of Americans abusing prescription painkillers has leveled off in recent years, but there is no apparent decline yet.
That's the finding of a new study tracking the U.S. opioid abuse problem. Researchers found that after a large spike in the early 2000s, Americans' misuse of prescription opioid painkillers has plateaued in recent years.