Post-Surgery Pain Control Without Opioids

Post-Surgery Pain Control Without Opioids

After you have surgery, pain control is the key to a successful recovery. However, opioid pain medications are addictive and pose other risks to your health while you're trying to heal.

There are plenty of other options to control your pain after surgery. At Orthopaedic Specialists, Dr. Brandon Downs offers several non-opioid therapies to help you manage your pain effectively after a surgical procedure.

Why is pain control vital after surgery?

After surgery, it's completely normal to feel some pain and discomfort. While Dr. Downs does expect you to have soreness, he takes the necessary steps to ensure your pain is under control throughout your recovery.

Pain management is crucial after surgery to ensure your recovery goes smoothly. When you have pain, it prevents you from participating in physical therapy, which is essential to getting you back on your feet.

With proper pain control, you can recover quicker than when in constant pain. It also helps you participate in rehabilitative exercise and therapy, which are both crucial components to a successful recovery.

What are opioids?

Opioids are medications designed to help manage moderate to severe pain. When you take opioids properly, they provide substantial relief from short-term pain, such as discomfort, after orthopedic surgery.

You can get opioids through oral medication, IV bolus, or intramuscular injection. Dr. Downs only prescribes these medications for a short time because of their addictive properties.

Many practices are moving away from opioid pain medications after surgery because of their side effects and addictive nature. People sometimes abuse opioid narcotics when they continue taking them long after their pain is gone.

If you have a prescription for opioid medications, only take them as Dr. Downs has prescribed. You shouldn't take any more than necessary and discontinue them as soon as your pain eases and you begin to feel better.

However, you don't have to use opioids after surgery; you have plenty of other options for pain relief.

Controlling your pain without opioids

Opioid pain medications effectively relieve pain but are not suitable for long-term use. If you'd like to try to manage your pain without opioid medications, you have several options, which include the following:

Non-opioid medications

Sometimes the best option for pain after surgery is non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications are excellent at relieving pain due to inflammation and swelling after your procedure.

Other types of medications work well too. Dr. Downs may prescribe an antidepressant or anti-seizure medication, as they also work to control both acute and chronic pain.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is often necessary after orthopedic surgery to help you regain strength and mobility. However, exercise and physical therapy can also help you manage your pain. Movement is good for your body and releases "feel good" chemicals that decrease your pain for a while.

Nerve blocks

Dr. Downs performs nerve blocks before your surgical procedure to give you hours of pain relief afterward. He can give you a nerve block in your arms, legs, or spine to numb your nerves and prevent pain after your procedure.


Local anesthesia is an excellent option for pain relief after surgery. During the procedure, Dr. Downs injects medication into the surgical site. The local anesthesia provides you with hours of pain relief after surgery is over.

You can also ask Dr. Downs about the use of alternative therapies to help control your pain. Relaxation techniques help you stay calm and ease your pain naturally by meditating or using deep breathing techniques.

Try massage or acupuncture if Dr. Downs thinks it won't interfere with the healing process.

You can use more than one of these options to control your pain after you've undergone a surgical procedure.

To get expert pain management after your surgical procedure, call Orthopaedic Specialists today or request an online appointment at one of our offices in the Nashville, Tennessee area.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

What is Cubital Tunnel Syndrome

Have you been experiencing bothersome tingling in your fingers or numbness in the hand? If so, you may have a condition called cubital tunnel syndrome. Read on to learn about cubital tunnel syndrome and when numbness and tingling are problematic.
My Knees Always Hurt: Can Physical Therapy Help?

My Knees Always Hurt: Can Physical Therapy Help?

When your knees are constantly painful, you can't get anything done or enjoy life – but what can you do? Physical therapy may be a good option. Keep reading to learn how physical therapy exercises ease knee pain and improve joint functionality.

Four Benefits of PRP Injections After an Injury

Sports injuries happen and can keep you from your normal activities and playing the sports you love – which is why PRP is an excellent option. Read on to discover the many benefits of PRP therapy on an injury and what to expect during recovery.

When to Consider a Total Hip Replacement

Hip pain that continues no matter what is devastating and can make life difficult. If you're sick of dealing with chronic hip pain, it’s time to consider a total hip replacement. Read on to learn about hip replacement surgery and if it’s for you.

Signs It May Be Time for a Knee Replacement

Chronic knee pain threatens everyday activities, especially when you can't find relief. If other treatments aren’t working, it may be time for surgery. Read on to discover the signs that a knee replacement is in your future for knee pain relief.