NICE has recently updated its guidelines to warn doctors against prescribing painkillers for chronic pain. Instead, the body states that patients with chronic pain should be treated with exercise and antidepressants.
So, why have the guidelines been updated and what alternatives can patients use to manage their pain?
Understanding the new guidelines
The new guidelines released, advise doctors not to prescribe pain medication to chronic pain patients. This includes to those living with fibromyalgia, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, and chronic headaches.
The warning extends past opioids, including more widely used pain medications such as paracetamol and corticosteroids. It makes the UK’s guidance on the use of analgesics much stricter now than those implemented in Canada and the US.
Speaking of the reason to update the guidelines, NICE states: “There is little or no evidence that they make any difference to people’s quality of life, pain or psychological distress, but they can cause harm, including possible addiction.”
Instead, the guidelines suggest exercise and antidepressants could be used to treat the negative symptoms of chronic pain. Even patients who are not depressed could benefit from antidepressants in some cases. They can help aid sleep, as well as treat the psychological effects of pain. They also recommend CBT to help improve quality of life.
The toll of living with chronic pain
Chronic pain can negatively impact every aspect of a patient’s life. It can lead to sleeping difficulties, trouble with relationships, depression, and other psychological effects.
The pain of the condition can cause you to withdraw from social activities. This in turn can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Many patients also suffer with insomnia. Without adequate sleep, it impacts mood, productivity and it can also have a significant impact on your physical health.
There are few treatments available, and the updated guidelines mean painkillers are no longer a suitable pain relief option. However, one form of treatment that is available that has shown to be effective, is MBST.
Using MBST to manage chronic pain
MBST is one of the newest forms of treatment for arthritis, sports injuries, and osteoporosis in the UK. It works by encouraging cartilage regeneration and patients report that it reduces pain and improves mobility.
The machine is placed over the affected area and it takes one hour per session. The number of sessions you will need will depend upon numerous factors, such as the severity of the condition. You should find the treatment to be completely painless. Some patients have even reported feeling a nice tingling sensation.
To find out whether MBST could be an effective treatment option for your chronic pain, call us on 020 3282 7553 book a consultation today. There are a number of potential treatments which could help and MBST may not be the right option for you.