A recent report from the CDC says one out of every five US adults suffers from chronic pain, and chronic pain has been linked to opioid dependence.
Now, a safety advisory from the Joint Commission is encouraging opioid-free treatments first when people seek pain relief.
The recommended opioid-free therapies include meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, music therapy, massage therapy, spinal manipulation, acupuncture, and non-opioid medicines. What’s especially important is that these therapies won’t lead to opioid addiction and have minimal, if any, side effects.
Jamie Starkey, Licensed Acupuncturist for Cleveland Clinic, says, “We see that the evidence is there, so it works. It’s helping to bring pain scores down without the side effects of opiate medication as well as the addictive properties of opiate medication.”
Many insurance companies will cover a number of the recommended therapies.