I received an email from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners outlining recent changes in laws for physician prescribers of opioids. This comes timely after President Trump’s October 26th declaration that the epidemic of opioid overdose constitutes a national emergency.
After reviewing with Trip Goolsby, MD, Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center’s President and CEO, we discovered that our practice prescribing policies, specifically with respect to opioids is actually stricter than the new mandates as outlined in the new regulations. We also acknowledged that many of the services we provide, as a progressive integrative health center, already provide relief from many of the issues that have driven our country into its current opioid crisis.
What exactly are opioids?
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioids include, “the illegal drug heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers available legally by prescription, such as oxycodone (OxyContin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), codeine, morphine, and many others. These drugs are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain.”
Prescription opioids are used to treat moderate-to-severe pain, as well as to alleviate post-surgical treatments and for those suffering from cancer. While opioids lend themselves to relief from chronic pain, they can also be highly addictive. So addictive in fact, that the rate of overdose is now epidemic. As of January 2018, it is estimated that approximately 90 Americans per day are dying from an opioid overdose.
President Trump’s over-simplistic statement directed at those who may be trapped in the chronic-pain versus opioid addiction cycle indicates a lack of understanding to the what and the why of the problem, and falls flat in offering a constructive resolution.
I could easily follow the masses and the media in playing the blame game. For example, it must be the fault of those malevolent prescribing physicians (who make zero on prescribing pain pills, btw). After all, “in 2015 physicians prescribed enough opioids for every American to be medicated around the clock for three weeks,” according to the CDC.
Or, more likely, it is Pharma’s fault for maliciously misleading physicians and insurance payors when in the 1990’s they “downplayed the addictive properties when marketing it to doctors, in a way that was later shown to be false and misleading,” according to David Armstrong of STAT News in his interview with Hari Sreenivasan of PBS News Hour. And let’s not forget the greedy politicians who paved the way.
Pointing fingers and identifying the “culprits,” may help to implement policies and procedures to ensure we do not permit such an atrocity to happen again, but it is a sub-par method for healing the damage that has already occurred.
So how do we begin to heal?
Infinite Health receives multiple calls a day from people seeking “pain management,” and our answer is always the same, “While we do not provide pain management, we do offer a comprehensive pain healing program.” Why do we not offer “pain management?” Because we have learned that the expectation from the prospective patient who is seeking “pain management” is seeking the status quo in their care and their prescriptive opioid pain-killing habits, they do not know that they do not have to continue to be caught between the rock of living in pain versus the hard place of feeding the need for pain-killers. They often cannot conceptualize the fact there are other alternatives that actually lend themselves to actual healing.
What are these healing modalities?
“Regenerative medicine is the process of creating living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function lost due to age, disease, damage, or congenital defects.”
According to the American Osteopathic Association of Regenerative Medicine, Prolotherapy (Proliferative Therapy), also known as Non-Surgical Ligament and Tendon Reconstruction and Regenerative Joint Injection, is a recognized orthopedic procedure that stimulates the body’s natural healing processes to strengthen and repair injured and painful joints and connective tissue.
Prolotherapy is an injection procedure that assists in the resolution of tiny tears or injuries to connective tissue located throughout the musculoskeletal system (e.g., ligaments, tendons, muscle fibers, fascia and joint capsules). Oftentimes connective tissue becomes injured when it is torn away from a nearby bone. Prolotherapy is most often used in the case of injuries or conditions.
- Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy:
PRP may aid in the recovery of soft tissue injuries and arthritic conditions (tendons, ligaments and cartilage). The concentrated platelets found in PRP contain reservoirs of bioactive protein, including growth factors that are vital to initiate and accelerate tissue repair and regeneration. The goal of the bioactive proteins is to stimulate connective tissue healing, bone regeneration and repair, promote development of new blood vessels, and stimulate the wound healing process.
These regenerative medicine modalities may be used for the following chronic pain conditions:
- Chronic ligament and tendon injuries, pains, sprains or strains.
- Chronic back pain or neck pain.
- Joint pain caused by osteoarthritis (especially arthritis of the knee and back).
- Weakness and instability that lasts for more than six weeks and is tied to muscle or joint pain.
- Degenerative knee cartilage.
- Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injuries.
- Chronic elbow tendonosis (tennis elbow)
- Plantar fasciitis.
- People who take pain-reducing medications frequently (including Advil, aspirin, ibuprofen, oral steroids) but don’t feel their condition is getting better.
- Those who fail to feel better after having corrective surgery.
- People who have tried physical therapy but still experience pain and stiffness.
- Anyone having trouble exercising, sleeping or moving normally without experiencing joint pain and limitations.
Our patient-partners who have received these modalities testify almost immediately that they experience significant reduction in pain, even after just the first treatment (generally 3 to 4 may be recommended), as well as increased mobility and flexibility.
For the past five years Infinite Health has successfully helped thousands of people reduce their dependency on various prescription medications, including opioids such as hydrocodone and somas, etc., via their 4 Pillars Approach to care which involves tailoring a comprehensive individualized program centered on optimizing the nutritional habits, physical fitness habits, metabolic and hormonal optimization via bio-identical hormones, as well as our Empowered Medicine proprietary mindfulness motivational coaching program. In fact, we wrote the book on Empowered Medicine: Harnessing the laws of the universe for optimized health.
Every week our patient-partners rave about how they have successfully reduced their dependence on prescriptions, how much better they feel, how much more energy they have, and their overall satisfaction with life improves.
Additional modalities that we offer our patient-partners that aid in pain resolution include bio-feedback, mediation, and while we do not offer it onsite, we do prescribe acupuncture and even yoga, the latter of which is one of the best exercises for addressing various pain issues.
There are pro-active, positive solutions available for those who are serious about taking their health back. To learn more about Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center and how it can help you and/or your loved ones get out from between feeling like you have to choose between chronic pain or opioids, visit our website at www.yourinfinitehealth.com or call 844-308-0615 and schedule an initial consultation.
LeNae Goolsby, JD is the Practice Administrator for Infinite Health Integrative Medicine Center, as well as an Author, Public Speaker and Personal Power Activator. For more information about LeNae, visit www.LeNaeGoolsby.com