Posted by Heart Hugger on Sep 24, 2018 10:20:34 AM
After surgery, pain management becomes a priority, and prescription medications like opioids are typically the first line of defense. For many, the idea of using opioids is concerning -- after all, we constantly hear all the terrible stories about the opioid crisis. While some medication is necessary in most cases, there are several other alternatives for pain management. Always talk to your doctor about your plans for pain management. Here are some of the best options to consider.
Support Harness for Pain Management After Heart Surgery
Heart Hugger is a sternal harness that lets patients heal from heart surgery. It offers wound stability and sternal support in addition to on-demand pain management during recovery at home. The Heart Hugger can help reduce complications and reliance on pain medication.
Physical, Exercise, or Cognitive Therapy
Depending on the type of operation and the patient, physical or exercise therapy can offer effective means of pain management during and after recovery. Physical therapy can help reduce recovery time, mitigate complications, and increase flexibility and mobility. In older patients, in particular, these types of therapies can make a tremendous impact.
Mental health is also strongly correlated with physical health, so it's no surprise that therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, has been shown to be an effective means of pain management. In therapy, patients learn tools that help with perceptions of pain as well as coping skills.
Yoga, Meditation, and Breathing
Mindfulness, yoga, and self-care practices are wonderful additions to any pain management plan. These gentle and beneficial practices offer patients in recovery both alternative means to treat pain long-term and promote overall health and wellbeing. Even just mindful breathing and meditation provide incredible benefits for many patients.
In many cases when medication is still necessary, non-opioids like NSAIDs and acetaminophen can work for pain relief. Often, these are prescribed in conjunction with opioids, so that patients still get help with pain but don't rely solely on opioids themselves. These are especially important options because they are less addictive and have a lower risk of overdose. There can still be side-effects, though, so be sure to always discuss your medications with your physician or surgeon.
To learn more about alternative pain management through Heart Hugger, contact us today!