Wholesome Residing: Ache Administration Strategies

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Healthy Living: Pain Management Techniques

Pandemic Pain: Extra stress and even unusual work areas can cause problems for our bodies. Doctors urge people to find alternatives to pain management instead of prescription drugs.

What often starts as a prescription for pain management can turn into a lifelong addiction.

According to the CDC, nearly 12 million Americans 12 years and older reported having abused prescription opioids. That happened to 20-year-old Bobby Gregoire from Bellevue.

His mother Colleen says he was prescribed Percocet after he had his wisdom teeth removed, but shortly after he relied on the opioid to help curb anxiety.

“(He) got a pill off the street and it was the wrong one,” she said. “He took it that night and didn’t wake up the next morning.”

Last October, police said a lethal dose of fentanyl had been sold to Bobby, disguised as Percocet, and killed him.

In fact, over 70 percent of overdose deaths in 2019 were associated with an opioid. That’s why doctors in Washington are working to reduce opioid abuse.

“We’ve managed to reduce opioid prescribing for our members by 51 percent over the past few years,” said Dr. Hossam Mahmoud, Behavioral Health Medical Director at Regence.

Between uncomfortable office space at home and more sitting on the couch at home, the pandemic is certainly responsible for the increased pain in adults.

Before resorting to any medication, you should first consult with your doctor to determine if you are at risk of addiction.

“There are different approaches to treating pain in addition to or in place of opioids,” he said. “This can include different types of psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, a form of talk therapy that gives you better control over the way you interpret pain.”

There are simple things you can do at home too.

Identify these stressors and work to alleviate them by getting the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night and exercising for at least 30 minutes a day.

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are other great ways to relieve stress, which in turn will relieve some pain.

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