Alternative Therapies For Patients With Opioid Therapy ( Heating Pads, Ice Packs )

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. "The policy doesn 't say cut them off; far from that, it is very sensitive to the patient 's clinical needs," he said. "But it 's (carried out) by primary care physicians under intense pressure to see as many veterans as they can in a tight time frame. … Some doctors don 't have the time that the policy requires for good implementation" (Tribune Content Agency, LLC, 2015). These are some of the alternative therapies offered to veterans in place of or along with opioid treatment:
“You have the option not to take opioids. Other treatments can be used as part of your pain care plan. Alternatives include:
• Heat and cold therapy (heating pads, ice packs)
• Stretching
• Exercise
• Weight loss
• Massage

• Nerve Stimulation
• Relaxation or stress reduction training
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Mental health treatment
• Self-care techniques
• Counseling and coaching
• Meditation
• Rehabilitation
• Non-opioid pain medicines (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, anticonvulsants)
• Injections
• Specialist pain care
• Surgery
• Pain classes
• Support groups
• Attention to proper sleep” (Affairs, 2014). For some veterans who welcome alternative pain management and who believe “pill popping” has taken over their lives, this is a welcome development. But for many others, it is a troubling one. Veterans tied to the VA system often drive great distances to get to a government pharmacy, and the wait times for appointments at some

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