Doctors often prescribe opioids to treat chronic pain, which can make pain management difficult during opioid 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 and opioid addiction recovery at the same time can complicate the situation. However, 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 pseudo-addiction.
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. In turn, this can lead to undertreatment, which can cause severe consequences in terms of both physical and mental health.
Unfortunately, many people view opioid addiction as a moral failure instead of an illness with pharmacological components. This misunderstanding can result in discrimination against people suffering from addiction, further limiting access to treatment. Therefore, an open discussion between the patient and clinician is necessary 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.
- Therapy: Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on identifying unhelpful thinking patterns and challenging them with more rational beliefs to help manage emotions and behaviors. CBT has been found to be an effective form of treatment for managing chronic pain.
These techniques, along with traditional medications and other treatments, can help you manage your chronic pain and opioid addiction. With a combination of approaches tailored to your individual needs, you can not only reduce the severity of physical symptoms but also improve mental well-being.
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 San Diego Today
At Apex Recovery San Diego, 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 yoga, meditation, and nutritional counseling. To learn more and receive a no-cost evaluation, contact us at 619.458.3435.