Why a little pain doesn’t always hurt

Painkillers aren’t the only answer if you have chronic pain

This article is part of a series on the emerging public health crisis of opioid abuse. Because addressing the disease of addiction requires a comprehensive approach, several Norton Healthcare providers have come together to educate the public and work to manage the epidemic in our community.

You don’t have to look far to find news about the opioid drug crisis. It is the catalyst for the heroin epidemic and frightening rise in drug overdoses. In many cases, the problem starts innocently with seeing a doctor for pain.

Need help managing pain?

Your first stop should be your primary care physician. He or she can make a plan for relieving pain based on your personal needs. Need a physician? We can help find the right one for you.

Opioids are prescription painkillers, including Vicodin, Percocet, hydrocodone and fentanyl.

If you sustain an injury, need surgery or have been living with a chronic condition, it’s important to understand that the goal is not necessarily to be completely pain-free.

“Individuals feel pain differently and respond to pain relievers differently,” said Daniel Kean, M.D., pain management specialist with Norton Rehabilitation Physicians. “It’s important you have clear expectations about pain before surgery, during recovery from an injury or after a diagnosis of a painful condition.”

Managing your pain-relief expectations

  • Can you live with it while your body heals?
  • Do you have financial or insurance limitations to your options?
  • Are you willing to put time into trying different methods?

When you understand what is causing the pain and why, you can work with your doctor as a team to make better decisions about how to manage it,” Dr. Kean said.

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