Opioid epidemic calls for multiple ways to treat pain

Published: Oct. 3, 2016

LANSING, MI – Reports of skyrocketing use of opioids – including cases involving famous celebrities – are evidence that treatment of pain needs to involve a multi-pronged approach that includes psychological treatment and physical therapy and medical management with non-opioid medications or interventional treatments, according to experts at the Sparrow Pain Management Center.

Use of opioids, which includes heroin, has been on the rise both locally and nationally, and has been spotlighted by several notorious incidents, including the April death of music superstar Prince.

Sparrow Pain Management Center leaders say they have seen more Patients coming to them with pain problems who are already on opioids. For most of these Patients, opioids are not the only option for treatment of pain. It’s crucial that those Patients receive care from a pain specialist who can provide a wide range of care, said Narasimha Gundamraj, M.D., a Pain Specialist and Anesthesiologist who is also a specialist in addiction medicine.

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control published guidelines for opioid prescription usage directed at primary care Physicians. The Sparrow Pain Management Center is committed to educating both primary care Physicians and Patients about the proper use of opioids, Dr. Gundamraj said.

“For Patients who really need opioids for pain, they need to be monitored in a safe way to prevent overdose, abuse and diversion,” he said.

The interdisciplinary team at the Sparrow Pain Management Center provides comprehensive evaluation and treatment for individuals with acute and chronic pain. The team evaluates the physical, functional, emotional, and psychological needs of each Patient to develop an individualized treatment plan.

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