For those saddled with chronic pain, a reliance on medication can be part of life. However, experts in our pain clinic in Minneapolis warn that this reliance comes with a risk of drug dependence. 

Suffering from pain that won't go away might not seem like a life-threatening medical issue, but chronic pain is a growing public health problem since it is often associated with addiction to pain medication. According to the JAMA Network, 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. suffer from some kind of chronic pain. 

Pain is one of those things that we can’t wait to get rid of. No matter where the pain is coming from, it interferes with everything good in life, limits our activities, and makes us feel ill. For severe pain that cannot be relieved by over-the-counter pain relievers, doctors may sometimes have to prescribe a stronger alternative in the form of narcotics, or opioids. 

Having occasional neck pain, especially after doing strenuous physical activity, sitting for a long time, or waking up from a bad sleeping angle, isn’t unheard of and doesn’t usually raise an alarm. In fact, research has shown that neck pain is common in people who work in desk jobs or occupations that require sitting and leaning for hours at a time.

86.3% of American adults have reportedly consumed an alcoholic beverage at some point in their lives. While moderate alcohol consumption can yield some health benefits, excessive drinkers are at risk for: 

Diabetes has been a growing health concern affecting over 30 million people in the United States. In fact, according to the American Diabetes Association, this “lifestyle” disease was the 7th leading cause of death in the country in 2015. 

Alcoholism is a disease that can affect any person. As a growing public health issue, some 14.1 million U.S. adults from the ages of 18 and older, and 443,000 kids from the ages of 12 to 17 are believed to be suffering from alcohol use disorder, according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Headaches and migraines are both common conditions experienced by people of all age groups. Headaches, while at times can be very severe,may sometimes be so severe that it can be mistaken for a migraine, but there are specific differences between a headache and migraine. It is important to distinguish these differences to ensure that you get the proper and faster pain relief. 

Vivitrol is one type of brand name for a drug called naltrexone, which is primarily used for treating alcohol dependence and opioid addiction. This particular brand, however, works better than other types of medication because of its formulation as an extended-release injectable suspension.

Phantom pain happens when an individual experiences pain and sensation in a body part or organ that are no longer physically present. It's most common among people who have had an amputation or a breast removal surgery.

Heroin addiction is on the rise among adults between the ages of 18-25. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, the number of people using heroin for the first time doubled within a period of 10 years, while the number of people who have become dependent on this illegal substance has dramatically increased from 214,000 in 2002 to 626,000 in 2016. 

 Alcohol dependence can develop and take over your life if you're not careful about the choices you make. In the U.S., 1 in 13 adults develops alcohol problems in their youth, which can lead to other substance abuse issues, according to the American Addiction Center

The opioid epidemic presents a major problem in our communities, but what is the problem exactly? Before any problem can be managed, it must first be understood. Valley Medical and Wellness (VMW) is focused on bringing a thoughtful approach to dealing with the people in our communities afflicted with pain and chemical dependence.

What Are Opioids?

Opiates are drugs used to treat pain acquired from the opium plant. These substances are highly addictive and carry a high risk for opiate addiction for whoever takes them for a prolonged period, even if they are used as prescribed.

While opioids are prescribed to alleviate acute pain, continued use can lead to opiate addiction (opioid addiction) and abuse.

What are opioids?

Opioids, oftentimes also called narcotics, are a type of drug. They include strong prescription pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, fentanyl, and tramadol. The illegal drug heroin is also an opioid.

A health care provider may give you a prescription opioid to reduce pain after you have had a major injury, or surgery. You may get them if you have severe pain from health conditions like cancer. Some health care providers prescribe them for chronic pain.

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a complex structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, sprain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can cause back pain. Even though sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes simple activities can have painful results.

In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause, or increase back pain. Backache can, too, be a direct result of a disease of internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Chronic back pain can limit your daily productivity. If not managed properly, it can lead to disability later in life. The doctors in our Pain Clinic in Minneapolis and Burnsville have years of experience dealing with a variety of back pain cases. We know the negative effects that back pain can bring into the life of our patients and we do our best to provide the best treatment customized to each patient’s unique health condition.