Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released guidelines related to the prescription of highly addictive pain medications, called opioids. These drugs – including Vicodin and OxyContin – are responsible for 40 deaths from overdose each day in the United States. The guidelines are intended to equip doctors to make better choices about type and duration of treatment when prescribing opioids, as well as to inform their discussions with patients about length of treatment, benefits and risks (not the least of which is the risk for abuse and addiction).
Pain patients may have other options to address their complaints, such as complimentary practices including craniosacral therapy, acupuncture and mediation. The National Institutes of Health released a study last week, for example, which highlighted the use of meditation as an effective tool in managing and decreasing the sensation of chronic pain. The study revealed the existence of a pain pathway in the brain that is not affected at all by opioids, but is influenced by meditation.
Debbie Turczan is a Physical Therapist specializing in Craniosacral Therapy, with offices in New York City and Long Island.