University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics doctor looking at ways besides opioids to treat chronic pain

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - Dr. Rahul Rastogi, MD, a pain management specialist with the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, says there is no evidence that shows opioids can cure chronic pain. In fact, he says it can make things worse.

Cropped Photo: K-State Research and Extension / CC BY 2.0

Rastogi says opioids are best for treating immediate pain, like pain after a car crash, but not for chronic pain. That's because the long-term side effects can cause nerve ending damage, leading to more pain.

"We find out that we are not doing any favors to the patients,” he said. “We are not able to control pain fully. We are slowing them down so their functionality is going down. We also have evidence that it is causing bigger damage in other systems."

Some alternatives to treating chronic pain Rastogi suggest are physical therapy and doing nerve modulation techniques.

Rastogi says people getting addicted to Opioids does play a role in why they are looking into other methods, but it's mainly because of the long term effects it can do to a person's body.