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.
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.
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.
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:
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 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.
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.