Pain Management | Prescription Policy
Chronic and acute pain affects as many as 70 million Americans. At the Neurosurgical & Spine Institute, our goal is to promote understanding on how patients can treat pain and choose the best therapy for their needs. This includes education about certain medicines you may be prescribed or may already be taking. Our hope is that you consider pain medicine an adjunctive therapy and not a means for managing your symptoms long-term. We feel this is important as we know the use of narcotic medications has inherent risks with adverse effects including chemical dependency, addiction, CNS depression, hypotension, seizures, constipation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, headache, confusion, respiratory arrest, somnolence, coma and death. Narcotic medication alone, or in combination with muscle relaxants, sleeping pills, anxiety medications, antihistamines, decongestants, or alcohol can cause cognitive impairment and delayed reaction time.
We ask that each of our patients review and sign a medication agreement that includes the following guidelines:
- I understand that I am responsible for my prescription and medications. Any lost or stolen medicines will not be replaced or refilled until time allowed.
- I understand that prescriptions are refilled Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm. No refills will be called in during weekends, evenings, or holidays.
- I will use my medicine at no greater rate than prescribed. A greater rate will result in my being without medicine for a period of time.
- I understand that if I am pregnant or become pregnant while taking opioid medications, my child could become physically dependent on opioid medications, and withdrawals can be life threatening for a baby.
- I understand that my surgeons and his advanced practitioners are only in clinic 2-3 days a week depending on their surgical and emergency call schedule. For this reason, I will give the team at least 1 business day to respond to my medication requests.
- If at any time I break the law with regards to my pain medicine, I am aware that the appropriate law enforcement department may be notified and my records could be released to them.
- I understand that it is illegal to sell, trade, or share prescription medication with others.
- I understand it is illegal to obtain controlled substances from more than one doctor without telling the other doctor.
- I will receive medications from one prescribing physician only. This means, if you are obtaining medications (pain meds/muscle relaxants) from your following physician, or from ER physicians, you are to continue receiving medications from their office. If our physician assumes your care, and at any time you obtain the above listed medications from any other physician, our physician reserves the right to discontinue further prescriptions for you.
- I understand it is illegal to obtain, alter or fabricate prescriptions.
- If I break this agreement, my doctor may stop prescribing these pain control medicines and, if recommended, submit to an evaluation by an addictionologist, or discharge if necessary.
10 Pain Relief Techniques to Try at Home
- Hot/cold packs are two tried and true methods for treating injuries and relieving pain. Cold can help reduce inflammation while heat can help increase blood flow to an area. It is not recommended that you use either for more than 20 minutes at a time.
- Gentle exercise such as walking, swimming or cycling can improve mobility and ease pain.
- Deep breathing exercises can draw oxygen deeper into the lungs and bring about a calming state that lessens the experience of pain. This type of breathing exercise is also a great form of meditation to inhibit stress.
- Meditation/relaxation can help you restore a sense of control over your body and turn down the "fight or flight" response.
- Yoga includes meditation, mindfulness and gentle movements that can stretch and strengthen muscles.
- Music has been shown to help distract patients from pain and discomfort.
- Therapeutic massage can help ease pain by working tension out of muscles and joints, relieving stress and anxiety and introducing a “competing” sensation that overrides pain signals.
- Electrotherapy (TENS) uses pain-free electrical currents delivered through soft pads to affected areas to disrupt or distract pain signals.
- Acupressure/Acupuncture use pressure points to provide pain relief.
- Topical pain relievers