This is a broad subject. We have some alternatives for pain, but severe pain often takes strong medicine, including prescription controlled medication.
For chronic pain, many therapies are tried; several different prescriptions, herbal treatments, tylenol, Advil, testosterone, etc. We also refer patients to chiropractic, physical therapy, Acupuncture, orthopedic, neurology, neurosurgery and anesthesiologist pain specalists.
Patients usually find one or a combination of treatments helpful but most can expect to be left to live with a tolerable amount of pain.
Even though many will end up needing strong opiates to control their pain, controlled opiate medication is one of the last treatments we want to use for chronic pain for a few reasons .
- Those with the genetics for addiction to opiates will become addicted and misuse the drugs. This ends up ruining their lives and kills some of them. At Innovative Medicine we are well aware of this as treating opiate addiction is a big part of our practice.
- Opiate medications used chronically often make one more sensitive to pain which requires higher doses of the opiate which in turn causes more pain.
- Opiate medication causes tolerance, i.e. you become less sensitive to the medicine so need more and more over time.
- At a significant dose of opiate medication you will become physically dependent. This means when you stop the medication you will experience withdrawal…..feeling like you have the flu for a few days to a couple of weeks; the higher the dose of opiate you were on, the worse the flu symptoms would be.
- New Indiana laws make Prescribing opiate medication for chronic pain much more difficult and potentially dangerous for physicians to prescribe. So if you are having trouble finding help for your pain, this is why.
Luckily, there is a class of opiate medication we can use to treat pain that is much less likely to cause addiction, tolerance, or increased pain. This class of drug both stimulates and blocks the opiate receptor at the same time. It can be used with relative safety even in opiate addicts and in fact is used to treat them for addiction. So we try to stay away from opiates as best we can. When we are down to using opiates for pain, buprenorphine or pentazocine are preferred.
Pentaxocine is found in a combination drug called TalwinNX. Buprenorphine is found in the brand named Subutex. It is also found combined with naloxone to prevent drug addicts from injecting it in the brands named Suboxone and Zubsolv.
As a result of the new laws mentioned above, there are thousands left without a physician to help their pain. You will probably find a bit of a wait to get into our pain clinic but the waiting time to get into the addictions clinic can be shorter depending on your specific situation.
If you don’t let those who represent you know what you are thinking, they will assume you are okay with what they are doing on your behalf. You can influence them but you must contact them to do this. You may find contact information for your government representatives here.
For the Pain Clinic, we accept most private medical insurance for the office visits but for patients with Obamacare or government insurance like Medicare or Medicaid you would be expected to pay cash for service. All patients must have regular urine drug screens. You can anticipate this test at every visit.
The cash prices (due at first day of service) as of October 2016:
The new law related to the use of opiates for chronic pain requires frequent confirmation drug screens. The cash price for these drug screens is typically $1,200 each. But for those in the concierge service, these expensive drug screens are included at no extra charge.
You can call us at 765-471-1100.