Pain management practice deals with the management of chronic pain affecting patients. Americans spend many funds when purchasing over the counter drugs for managing pain. Examples of drugs that patients purchase include ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen. However, these drugs have many side effects that may threaten the lives of the consumers. In addition, some consumers may not afford pain management prescription drugs sold by pharmacists. This made me to consider focusing on finding alternatives to prescription pain medications especially to patients without insurance. Because of this, I plan to cover alternatives to prescription medication as my identified topic in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
I believe that society will benefit a lot when consumers are offered alternatives to pain management. Patients without insurance cover can use natural alternatives for pain management and relief. Nurses can use natural herbs to manage acute pain instead of relying on prescription drugs for pain management. One of the natural herbs that they can consider using is white willow bark. Feverfew can also be used to relieve migraines and for the treatment of arthritic pain. When these herbs are used to treat acute pain instead of relying on prescription drugs, the society will be able to save high medical costs. Natural alternatives can also be used to manage chronic pain. It is critical to manage chronic pain since patients suffering from this type of pain have higher chances of developing depression or have anger management issues. Consumers prefer using prescription drugs in order to deal with chronic pain. However, such drugs are expensive and they may cause patients to end up having toxic build up in their bodies. Natural alternatives to dealing with acute pain include acupressure, hydrotherapy, hypnosis, massage and rolfing (Abaci, 2009). Patients who are underinsured or patients with no insurance cover can use these methods. Natural herbs can also be used on patients suffering from chronic pain. One of the herbs that can be used on such patients is kava. This herb can be used both as a muscle relaxant and as a sedative. Researchers have also established that this drug reduces nervous tension and cases of anxiety.
Use of natural alternatives to prescription pain medications will help to solve the problem of prescription drug abuse in the society. According to research conducted by the world health organization, about 20 percent of Americans abuse prescription drugs. Some of the common prescription pain medications abused include opiods and valium. Abuse of prescription drugs may make patients to develop addiction on such drugs. In addition, they may experience irritability, insomnia, high blood pressure and restlessness. This proves that it is necessary for the society to use natural alternatives to pain relievers instead of using prescription drugs. The nursing practice should consider advocating for natural alternatives to pain management since they are healthier and cost effective. A graduate of Doctor of Nursing program plays a big role in encouraging the use of natural alternatives to pain management in order to help the uninsured and underinsured access medication for pain management.