CINCINNATI—Acupuncture, exercise and massage and physical therapy are among the ways to deal with chronic pain that don't require narcotic painkillers, says Nancy Elder, MD, professor of family and community medicine at the University of Cincinnati.
"A lot of patients think, ‘Oh, I hurt a lot, I hurt a lot all the time, the doctor should give me OxyContin and Vicodin,’" says Elder. "I think the most important thing that doctors and patients need to know is there is much we can do to help patients with chronic pain outside of narcotics.
"That doesn’t mean narcotics aren't appropriate for some people in certain situations, but there are a whole lot of people that can get better without them," she adds.
Elder says more doctors must have initial conversations with patients to manage expectations in dealing with chronic pain.
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