Updated: Sep 28, 2019
As I now am approached regularly by people with chronic pain for help, my attention has been more focused on the opioid crisis. This is a phenomenon from predominantly the USA where the problem of people taking the pain-numbing drugs as prescribed, as recreation, as addiction and far too often as a final tragic result in death. As a Feldenkrais Practitioner, I have a particular point to make about this.
Opioids of any sort are useful to contain and dull acute pain, they are almost useless in actually helping with chronic pain.
Let me explain.
Acute pain is when you have sustained a wound or a break and need immediate help to ease the agony so you can function and you can be treated by doctors.
Chronic pain is the after-effects of the initial wound or break etc. Chronic pain is in some respects stored up in the brain's imaging of the body. This cannot be changed by opioids. This is where I come in. In Feldenkrais Method we have some amazing ways of inducing the human brain to re-configure and re-cast the chronic pain that has been debilitating a person. I could mention scores of people who have come to me for a few sessions and gone away with an improved sense of themselves and a huge reduction in pain; ""Just to say thank you so much for the session. It really has made a significant difference to my sciatic pain, and has really helped with tension in my shoulders. Quite a miracle.” from Dr Abigail Rokison just one among them.
Here's an over view from a that nice Hugh Pym at the BBC.
From another source Opioid addiction in Britain has spiralled to a dangerous level. Experts warn that the UK is approaching a crisis of US proportions.
In a split second, Lisa Peake's life changed forever. The South Londoner had been taking her bike for a spin on a morning in February 2014 when she got knocked over by a van. After the accident, the neck pain started and it never left her. Peake's doctor prescribed medication to reduce the pain. Soon she was taking strong painkillers as a relief: codeine four to five times a day, tramadol as a top-up once a day, as well as naproxen and co-dydramol four or five times a day.
The now 48-year-old became dependent on the drugs: "I was desperate to get rid of them. But the more drugs I took, the more my system was getting used to it and I was saying to the doctor, 'I need more.'" The painkillers had a huge impact on her life: "I couldn't concentrate. I could barely stand up without wanting to fall over. My moods were all over the place. My mental capacity reduced. My sleep was affected. In the end, I lost my job," she told DWglobal English-language news and information channel from a German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle(DW).
Opioids are effective for acute pain like a broken bone and at the end of life.
There is little evidence that they are useful for long term pain
People get “parked” on these very strong medications and just get left and it has a really negative effect on their lives.
One person was up to 1000 milligrams of morphine a day; enough to kill an elephant. Her mental and her physical health was getting worse.
The doctor that prescribed them was trying to help. But the drugs had terrible side effects and they didn’t relieve her pain.
The harsh reality is that the drugs we prescribe are only going to help 1 out of 10 people we prescribe them to.
She wants to tell doctors not to prescribe opioids for chronic pain.
I gathered this information from a really interesting BBC Radio 4 program which I am linking here; it will shake you up...
The programme really explains well how the vested interest of big Pharma have corrupted a whole industry and is another example of how "big" this and "big" that, food, tobacco, energy, the list goes on, is always slanted to the share-holders and not the people who need the help. I am a small operator and tiny kick against the huge "pricks", you could say, of the vested interests of the drug companies. I help people, through touch and advice to help themselves. As so often it is the difference between short-term thinking and long-term. We all want pain to go away. It's awful, chronic pain. But the pills have been proved to not work. We humans are in some instances becoming the victims of our own ingenuity and greed.
If you have chronic pain then go and see a Feldenkrais practitioner; you can find one in your area ( UK) here. http://www.feldenkrais.co.uk/teach.php and of course you can book with me, for Oxford, Charlbury and London on my book online page.