Dealing with Chronic Pain While Recovering from Opioid Addiction
Opioids are commonly prescribed to treat chronic pain, which can make pain management difficult during recovery. The opioid rehab process is an ongoing effort to avoid substance use while productively coping with one’s daily challenges. Dealing with chronic pain can complicate the situation, but recovery and relief are still possible.
What Is Chronic Pain?
Pain is one of the most commonly treated medical conditions. Chronic pain can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Whether triggered by an injury, an infection, a disease, or for no apparent cause, the constant firing of pain signals can be debilitating. Individuals may exhibit drug-seeking behaviors for undertreated pain; this is known as pseudoaddiction.
Pain and Substance Abuse
Pain due to tissue damage and normal nerve signal communication is called nociception. Neuropathic pain is triggered by abnormal processing of impulses. It may involve the peripheral or central nervous system. Pain perception can be augmented during drug use and the opiate withdrawal timeline, which can vary based on many factors.
Impact of Opioid Addiction Misconceptions
Misconceptions of opioid addiction often limit access to pain treatments. It’s important for healthcare professionals to understand the diagnosis, be nonjudgmental, and recognize the signs of withdrawal. Clinicians are often concerned about overtreating pain or an individual falsely reporting pain and not following medical advice. An open discussion between the patient and clinician is needed to create an effective opiate-free pain management plan.
Pain Management Techniques
If you’ve faced opioid addiction in the past and have chronic pain, opiates aren’t the only treatment option. Some techniques, and often-effective coping skills for substance abuse, include:
- Deep Breathing: Deep breathing techniques can help relieve muscle tension, which can relax your body and possibly ease pain. Meditation often focuses on repetition through breathing or repeating words or phrases. This approach can relax your body and mind by filtering out negative, distracting thoughts.
- Exercise/Yoga: Exercise has many positive effects on the body. In addition to weight loss, reducing the risk of heart disease, and controlling blood sugar, it releases endorphins. These brain chemicals improve your mood and block pain signals. Exercise also strengthens muscles to reduce the likelihood of re-injury and more pain.
- Sleep and Nutrition: Healthy habits can help manage your chronic pain. Poor sleep is often associated with worse pain. A well-balanced diet can help as well. It can help control your weight, improve blood sugar levels, and regulate digestion, possibly leading to improved comfort and health.
Join a Rehab Program
Various support programs focus on opioid addiction and chronic pain. You can get counseling from a mental health professional as well, who can help you cope and avoid negative thoughts and feelings. If you’re dealing with opioid abuse and chronic pain, a rehab program can help you develop coping skills to deal with the stress and cravings during recovery.
Contact Apex Recovery Today
At Apex Recovery, we provide treatment options for clients who face addiction to the most commonly abused opioids. Our programs include individual and group counseling; cognitive-behavioral therapies; and also yoga, meditation, and nutritional counseling. To learn more and receive a no-cost evaluation, contact us at 877-798-4404.