What is Responsible Pain Management?
When people think of pain management, they usually think of a doctor board certified in that speciality prescribing powerful pain medications and performing procedures like spinal epidurals or nerve blocks without doing anything to correct the root cause of the pain. That’s the old way, and the results of that protocol have proven to be a failure.
At Medical Center Plus, We Practice Responsible Pain Management…
Which means we don’t prescribe opioids, and we strive to help patients correct the root cause of their problems instead of just covering them up. We also do our best to help patients avoid surgery—and very often we are successful at that goal! Here’s why…
We Are In The Midst of an Opioid Crisis
In the late 1990s, pharmaceutical companies reassured the medical community that patients would not become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates. This experiment played out over the next ten years with grim results.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, for the year 2016:
- Nearly 64,000 people died of a drug overdose in 2016, a staggering 22% increase from the year prior.
- Nearly two-thirds of those deaths (66%) involved a prescription or illicit opioid.
And for 2017:
- 1,500,000 Americans suffered from substance abuse substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers.
- It was found that as many as 29% of patients prescribed opioids misused them, and as many as 12% of all users became addicted to them.
- Around 80% of heroin users were addicted to prescription opioids first and then transitioned to heroin when they became unable to the get the prescription medications.
In short, the last dozen or so years of increased prescriptions have revealed the opioid experiment to be an epic failure; the risk of prescribing opioids far outweighs the benefits, especially since the opioids don’t do anything to help the patient heal or solve the underlying cause of the pain…they just temporarily dull the symptoms.
What About Orthopedic Surgery?
The number one musculoskeletal problem that initiates pain relief procedures is lower back pain, and the number one most common procedure for debilitating back pain is lumbar fusion surgery.
Is this a good option?
The failure rate for lumbar fusion surgery is as high as 46%!
- Fusing one joint makes it more likely that subsequent joints will degenerate and creating the need for additional interventions.
- But additional spinal fusion surgeries are even more likely to fail. The second surgery has around a 70% failure rate, a third surgery has an 85% failure rate, and a fourth surgery has a 95% failure rate!
NBC News recently reported on a statistical analysis that showed the death rate for patients having total knee replacement surgery is as high as 1-2 in 200 within 90 days of having the surgery. That’s 1%, meaning if you had 100 people in a room who all had knee replacement surgery, statistically speaking, one of them would die within 90 days of the surgery.
For comparison’s sake, one study published in JAMA found that the average mortality rate for all elective surgeries is only .4%.
So Drugs and Surgery Aren’t Good Options…Now What?
There are some excellent drugless options for reducing or reversing painful conditions and avoiding surgery available nowadays, with more emerging all the time. Many of these treatments have higher rates of success—in some cases, much higher—than their surgical and pharmaceutical counterparts.
At Medical Center Plus we strive to get to the root cause of your problem and solve it using the latest technologies available—without drugs, and without surgery.