The Dark Side of Pain Management

Nearly one-third of Americans experience chronic pain in some form. This pain results from injury or, in many cases, degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Given that this is a far-reaching problem with no simple solution, what can we do about it?

One key piece of the puzzle may be redefining pain management. Currently, we are placing too much emphasis on only “managing” pain, which has led to serious repercussions.

In recent years, doctors and pain management clinics have found themselves embroiled in scandals surrounding the overprescribing of addictive pain medication which many believe has led to the rise in prescription drug abuse.

The problem of “managing” pain

Difficulties with measuring a patient’s degree of pain should come as no surprise since there are no concrete metrics for pain evaluation, and every person’s tolerance for pain varies. For this reason, managing a patient’s pain can often become problematic.

Where does pain management lead?

One of the obvious dangers of pain management is that narcotic and other opioid painkillers are highly addictive. The National Institute of Health recommends that individuals not take narcotic painkillers for more than 3 or 4 months consecutively. Side effects include nausea, constipation, drowsiness, impaired judgment, the potential for dependency and withdrawal. It is estimated that 2.1 million Americans suffer from substance abuse disorders related to prescription painkillers, which is why it’s so critical that doctors do not overmedicate patients.

A temporary solution?

All too often, pain management is merely a temporary solution to a problem that won’t get solved on its own. When it comes to knee, hip and shoulder pain, the most common causes are injury and degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis. Because of the pain, many patients turn to potentially unnecessary joint replacement surgery as the only foreseeable option for addressing it.

The ARO Difference

While many practices concentrate only on managing pain, at Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics, we target your body’s natural healing ability. With our 3-day process, we provide a unique approach to joint repair. We use a combination of arthroscopy, denervation and stem cell regenerative medicine to preserve your natural joint and return you to your active lifestyle as soon as possible.