Naturopathic Medicine Helps People Manage Chronic Pain Without Addictive Opioids

August 31, 2017

Washington, DC – As a medical discipline that emphasizes a holistic approach and natural treatments, naturopathic medicine offers safe and effective alternatives to highly addictive drugs for managing chronic pain. Licensed naturopathic doctors are trained to start with non-drug approaches to chronic pain management. Opioid painkillers are only used as a last resort. This is according to the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), which today released a new FAQ for consumers on how naturopathic medicine helps people manage chronic pain without addictive drugs, in partnership with the Institute for Natural Medicine (INM).

The FAQ describes how licensed naturopathic doctors develop personalized pain management treatment plans. These plans take into account the root causes of each person’s pain and all its manifestations. Root causes can include lifestyle, nutrition, work and leisure activities, current and past stressors, and relevant previous injuries.

“Since 1999, the rate of overdose deaths that involved opioids nearly quadrupled, with over 183,000 people dying just from prescription opioid overdoses,” said Michelle Simon, PhD, ND and Chair of the INM Board of Directors. “While strong pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin and even over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) certainly have a place in treating pain, they’re not the first choice of licensed naturopathic doctors. Instead, naturopathic doctors are trained to engage the inherent healing capacities of the human body. This can include dietary recommendations, nutritional supplements and botanical medicines that help reduce inflammation and the pain it causes.”

The complete FAQ, “How do naturopathic doctors help people manage chronic pain without highly addictive opioids?” can be found here.

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