Staten Island is in the midst of a horrific opioid addiction crisis. Clients who suffer soft tissue injuries are seen in an Emergency Room and requested to follow up with a doctor.
Most follow up care includes what is referred to as “conservative care,” i.e., medical care that does not require surgery or use of narcotic drugs. Acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic, and Calmare therapy are included in the category of “conservative care.”
If pain persists, the patient is then sent to “Pain Management.” This type of treatment includes trigger point injections, Epidurals, caudals, etc. These forms of treatment do not include the use of narcotics such as opioids (e..g., Oxycodone). Of course I am not a doctor, but in my observation, those clients / patients who suffer soft tissue injuries that do not try conservative care may be at risk for opioid addiction.
Opioids are essentially synthetic heroin in a neat pill form. It is prescribed by a doctor, but that certainly does not make it any safer. in some cases, injured persons are led to believe that they must address pain with opioids.
One of my colleagues wisely sued a physician for overprescribing opioids to his patient who suffered serious injuries after he fell at a work site. Unfortunately, that patient became seriously addicted which led to chronic depression, and ultimately suicide.
The point is that injured persons should try all non-intrusive, conservative methods before taking a highly addictive drug. Many other modalities (as named above) should be used to control pain. Opioids should be a last resort (not first resort) in treating pain.