Navigating Pain Management: The Empowered Patient
This post is part of a series highlighting findings from our report Flipping the Script: Living with
Chronic Pain Amid the Opioid Epidemic. To see more posts from this series, click here.
Navigating pain management and all that comes with it has always been a challenge for those with chronic pain, and the opioid crisis is giving the community more of a reason to explore new treatments, aside from prescription medication. There’s a groundswell among the chronic pain community to take their wellbeing into their own hands.
An overwhelming 90% of Americans living with chronic pain indicated they are actively seeking new treatment options to help mitigate their pain symptoms, and when asked why they decided to explore non-prescription treatments, almost half (43%) noted that they did not like the side effects from the medication. In fact:
- 59% have tried new treatments just in the past year
- 35% have tried two or more treatments in the past year
Where are they looking for treatments?
While many still rely on their doctor to learn about new treatments, 51% of respondents noted that they do their own online research and 31% will turn to a friend with a similar condition for input. When it comes to influence, doctor recommendations top the list, reviews and positive news coverage of treatments are close behind.
What treatments are they using?
Our research shows that those with chronic pain are using an average of at least two treatments regularly to manage their chronic pain. This supports our belief that pain management should be viewed as a toolbox – rather than relying on a single treatment modality, those living with chronic pain are encouraged to explore a variety of therapies to find relief. A few of the most common alternative treatment methods that were reported include:
- Physical Therapy, lotions, patches and rubs (65%)
- Over the counter TENS (44%)
- Yoga, Pilates, meditation (28%)
- Medical marijuana (16%)
To further explore how the chronic pain community is taking treatment into their own hands, download our full report here.
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