Opioids and pain management: What you should know

wrist pain

The growing opioid crisis has been dominating national headlines for several years and the State of Michigan responded with a series of recent legislation limiting opioid prescriptions for pain.

But there are still patients experiencing and living with chronic pain. However, there is hope for them.

"There are many ways we can address your pain and ease your discomfort that don't involve opioids," said Dr. Alexander Ajlouni, a pain management specialist with McLaren Macomb. "Opioids mask the pain, but we can get to the root cause of your pain and address it."

Common conditions treated by Dr. Ajlouni are chronic spinal pain"“including the neck and back, which may be due to disc disease or arthritis"“myofascial pain, neuropathic pain as well as multiple other pain syndromes. Many of these conditions can be debilitating or lead to a low quality of life.

There are, however, many treatment options available to people living with chronic pain"“individualized approaches based on each patient's specific condition and symptoms. These include non-opioid medications, injection therapy, nerve lesioning procedures, spinal cord stimulation and many others.

"Opioid pain medications are useful tools when a patient is experiencing significant pain, but they were never designed to be a permanent solution," Dr. Ajlouni said. "If a patient is taking opioids for chronic pain, I can help explore treatment options that may be an alternative to pain medications and, at the very least, help reduce their dependence on opioids for chronic pain."

To make an appointment with Dr. Ajlouni, patients can obtain a referral from their primary care physician or call (586) 233-5554.