Treating Pain Without Opioids

With the opioid crisis still affecting people nationwide, a team of University of Minnesota researchers is looking for ways to treat pain without prescription medications.

In an article published last month, researchers looked at the effectiveness of short and long-term rehabilitative treatments to treat chronic pain, especially in the elderly. The team found that patients in both the short and long-term trials experienced improvements in pain and comfort.

Dr. Stephanie Standal pointed out to the Minnesota Daily that rehabilitative medicine treatments, such as those in the study, often get confused with physical therapy. 

“A lot of people get really confused with that,” Dr. Standal said. “They think rehabilitative medicine and physical therapy are pretty much the same thing.”

She added that rehabilitative medicine focuses on optimizing patients' function, not on diagnosing their issues. That being said, this research has the potential to improve the opioid crisis by giving patients another option to prescription drugs.