Can Coping Mechanisms Help Reduce Dependence on Tramadol?
Controlling pain without opioid painkillers like tramadol is possible. The best techniques require serious stress reduction, planning ahead and establishing a healthy routine.
Handling Pain without Painkillers
Opioid painkillers are prescribed to treat all sorts of pain. Tramadol, for example, is a drug for moderate to severe pain. The drug is sold under the brand names Conzip, Ryzolt, Ultram and UltramER according to MedLinePlus, an online drug resource published by U.S. government agencies. When taken in high doses, the drug produces dangerous side effects such as coma or death. Although some in the medical community prescribe prescription drugs for many pain ailments, many medical experts point to the current high prescribing rates as the main culprit for today’s painkiller addiction epidemic according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Coping Methods for Pain
A chronic-pain sufferer who has a history of opioid painkiller addiction needs additional support to manage pain symptoms. Making sure a person’s pain level is adequately treated will help her stay sober and improve overall quality of life.
Several pain management methods are available to people who suffer all types of chronic pain and severe pain related to injuries. For a person suffering from a past painkiller addiction, alternate pain treatment methods are even more important.
Over the past several years, concern over painkiller dependency and unwanted side effects has prompted greater awareness about drug-free pain control methods. A special health report from the Harvard Medical School highlights the benefits of several techniques that reduce stress and alleviate pain.
Many drug-free methods work by giving a person control over her perception of pain. Such mind-body techniques include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a talk therapy technique that helps people learn more productive thinking patterns and breaks negative thought cycles that may intensify pain.
Methods that promote relaxation turn off the body’s fight-or-flight response, or stress reactions. When under intense stress, the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and adrenal glands work together to produce hormones that speed up a person’s breathing and heartbeat and prepare her to fight off danger. While the body’s stress reaction helps in a dangerous situation, chronic stress is damaging and intensifies pain. By finding a few techniques that alleviate stress, a person can drastically reduce feelings of pain. The Harvard report recommends the following techniques:
- Meditation and mindfulness – Through mindfulness, a person intently focuses on the present moment and accepts it without judgment. The technique encourages a person to let each moment go without worrying about feelings or perceptions. Scientific research shows the technique reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves sleep and relieves chronic pain.
- Progressive muscle relaxation – This is a therapy that encourages a person to relax muscles in a specified sequence from the tips to toes to the top of the head. A person begins by curling the toes, holding the contraction and then releasing the muscles. Each muscle group is contracting and released in a similar manner. The technique helps people control pain responses.
- Breathing exercises – This is a therapy that uses controlled breathing to reduce pain. The exercise is done by calmly concentrating on breathing in and out very slowly and very deeply. The exercise teaches people to take air deep into the lungs by expanding the stomach and chest.
- Hypnosis therapy – This is a therapy that helps a person enter a deep state of relaxation by going through a series of verbal cues. People undergoing hypnosis are aware of everything going on around them but focus instead on the images offered by the hypnotherapist. Self-hypnosis skills allow a person to enter the deeply relaxed state on her own. Scientific research shows the therapy consistently reduces pain and is more effective than physical therapy and education
An added benefit of pain-control strategies is the sense of control they give people who try them. Effective coping skills are a key part of living in recovery and refusing addictive substances like tramadol.
Need Help Finding Addiction Treatment?
A well-organized and thoughtfully designed addiction treatment program provides needed support for a person struggling with substance use issues and chronic pain. Addiction treatment programs that incorporate structure into all aspects of care—from day-to-day living to counseling groups—better meet the psychological and physical needs of a person in treatment.
If you or a loved one is looking for a structured program that specializes in addiction treatment services for drugs like tramadol that offer pain-management techniques, please call our toll-free helpline. Our admissions coordinators help individuals find tailored treatment options with emotional and physical support. Our programs offer clear steps toward recovery that address what will happen when you leave treatment. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Do not hesitate to reach out for more information. Call us today.