Anita Kemp Ph.D. Blog

Ideas for a healthy body, mind and spirit.

Chronic Pain, Opioids, Thoughts

Yes, by now, we all know that there is an opioid addiction epidemic. For most people, it starts out innocently with an surgery and an MD readily giving a prescription for pain killers. Then the medication’s additive effects get going and you are trapped. Now MDs are getting wiser and prescribing less. So what do you do if you have chronic pain?  First realize all the negative effects of these drugs. Yes opioids dampen pain but tolerance develops and you need more. The drugs slow the gut with result of constipation which can be severe and the drugs can cause intense itching. Most seriously the drugs can lead to respiratory depression and death.

What are the choices for pain control? The power of the mind and relaxation provide the answer. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) provides a program that is available online and has been effective in reducing chronic pain. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has also been effective by reducing catastrophic thinking. Those thoughts that say “This is really bad and what if …..”  In fact this catastrophizing is the largest factor in determining the impact of chronic pain on one’s life. There are things in your control and you can learn to control thoughts that impede your quality of life. Other approaches are hypnosis, mindfulness and guided imagery. There are better options than pain killers.

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June 18, 2017 Posted by | health | , | Leave a comment