How to deal with chronic pain without sacrificing sobriety

Last Updated June 2019

If you are in need of direct assistance, please call Future Restored — a service that matches addiction patients with the right treatment options — at (855) 216-9294.

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 50 million American adults suffer from chronic pain, or more than 20% of the total population of adults living in the US. It’s estimated that 20 million of these individuals experience what is referred to as “high-impact pain”— pain that is so intense that it significantly impacts all aspects of their lives.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who is dealing with chronic pain — whether it’s mild-impact or high-impact — you know how debilitating it can be. For many patients, pain medications can be used to help manage their discomfort. However, for those who are recovering from addiction, many traditional pain medications aren’t an option. That’s because these drugs are primarily opioids, which are highly addictive. In fact, many of those who suffer from chronic pain developed an addiction as a result of the pain medications that they were prescribed to ease their discomfort.

If you’re in recovery from addiction and still battling chronic pain, you’re probably wondering how you can ease your pain without compromising your sobriety. The last thing you want to do is risk a relapse. Fortunately, there are ways that you can ease your chronic pain without using substances that could jeopardize your recovery.

If you're looking to start the process of finding professional help, look to Future Restored, which is a team that connects addiction patients and their families to the right treatment options for them. Call (855) 216-9294.

Below you’ll find some proven techniques to offset chronic pain for those who are in recovery from substance abuse. These methods can also be used by individuals who are battling lasting pain and don’t want to run the risk of developing a dependency on prescription medications.

  • Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that has been used to treat a variety of ailments for thousands of years. The practice of acupuncture involves placing thin needles in the skin at specific points on the body. By inserting needles into strategic areas, it is believed that the flow of energy — referred to as “chi” — is balanced, and as a result the symptoms that are associated with chronic pain are minimized. The points where the needles are placed are believed to be pathways within the body through which chi flows. In Western medicine, it is thought that inserting needles into specific areas on the body stimulates connective tissue, nerves, and muscles, thereby boosting painkillers that the body naturally produces.

Many individuals who suffer from chronic pain report that acupuncture is highly effective. Several studies have concluded that this ancient method is a good way to treat chronic pain, and the best part is that it is completely drug-free.

  • Exercise

While exercising is probably one of the last things you want to do when you are feeling stiff, sore, and achy, believe it or not, it can be a very effective way to ease the discomfort that you are experiencing.

Scientific studies have found that when chronic-pain patients exercise on a regular basis, their pain decreases. Exercise helps to strengthen the muscles, joints, bones, and other systems and structures of the body. The stronger your body is, the less you will be affected by pain. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins and other natural feel-good chemicals that help to combat pain.

If you aren’t quite feeling up to running a marathon or taking a Zumba class, start small. Walking, swimming, and yoga are great forms of exercise that don’t require a tremendous amount of physical strength and endurance at first. Over time your body will strengthen, and you’ll be able to push yourself further and feel less pain.

  • Massage therapy

When you’re stressed to the max, there’s nothing more relaxing than a massage. If you’re suffering from chronic pain, your body is in a constant state of stress. The muscles, joints, and ligaments tense, which further compounds the aches and pains that you are experiencing.

Massage therapy has been proven to relax muscles and alleviate tension, thereby minimizing pain. Regular massages can provide tremendous benefits for chronic pain, so try to schedule sessions as frequently as possible.

The team at Future Restored provides resources to help addiction patients and their families find the treatment option that works best for them. Start the process by calling (855) 216-9294.