Due to the overprescription of pain medications like opioids, America has seen a pandemic of overdose and addiction. Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains some alternative pain treatments.
Opioids have gotten to a point that they are quite dangerous. It has been a problem for quite a while, but the recent explosion of opioid addiction and overdose among the middle class has helped shine a light on the problem and helped us to see that we really need to fix it, and fast. The solution is not simply to leave people in pain to the whims of fate; rather, they need to be able to find alternative methods of treatment so they do not have to rely on these dangerous, addictive prescription medications — such as morphine and oxycodone — and Dr. Ezekiel Akande has provided just a handful of solutions that are available.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande Discusses Alternative Methods to Fighting Pain
One of the most common and most effective things that a doctor will prescribe for their patient, Dr. Ezekiel Akande notes, is exercise and physical therapy. These are both things that, when done with care and mindfulness, can do a world of good for your pain relief. Depending on the level of pain, this will be somewhat easy or terribly difficult, Dr. Ezekiel Akande notes, but effort will go a long way for a lot of patients. Rest is always beneficial, but you do not want to rest to excess. You want to keep your body at least somewhat active; in doing so, you keep your body at the ready, able to avoid extreme pain the next time that you put your body to use again.
Dr. Ezekiel Akande on Other Medical Alternatives
One solution that has been floated is actually somewhat similar to the prescription medications floating around, Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains. Dr. Nurulain Zaveri has been working on something called AT-121. The major distinction is that it binds to both the mu-opioid receptor and the nociceptin/orphanin FQ peptide receptor, while the above-mentioned prescriptions only bond to the former. As Dr. Nurulain Zaveri explains, the bond to both may block the unwanted side effects of the drugs, like an addiction. Dr. Ezekiel Akande points out that this is still an experimental compound so things may change in the future, but if such a thing is produced, it could revolutionize pain treatment. Dr. Ezekiel Akande will always advise caution, regardless.
Opioids will always carry a potential risk of harmful side effects, but as Dr. Ezekiel Akande explains, this can be exacerbated by other factors. For instance, people with sleep apnea, obesity, anxiety, depression, and/or fibromyalgia are at heightened risk of these dangerous side effects, so any consideration for the use of opioids should be done with extreme caution, if not done at all.