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Dealing with Chronic Pain in Florida

By Jenny Hunt, Palm Partners Recovery Center

February 23, 2012

Florida is home to over 1,000 pain management clinics. Chronic pain sufferers seeking relief often pursue treatment at these clinics, only to have their problems compounded. This is due to the fact that many of these chronic pain management clinics are actually “pill mills.” Pill mills are clinics which prescribe excessive amounts of prescription painkillers to their patients without clear medical need. Florida doctors bought 89 percent of all the Oxycodone sold in the country last year. The prescription painkiller epidemic has caused deaths related to prescription drug use to outpace deaths from automobile accidents.

For people suffering from chronic pain in Florida, this can be very dangerous. Often, these doctors do not offer any therapy to treat chronic pain apart from prescription painkillers. Sufferers often find that the longer they are taking these painkillers, the more pills they need to relieve chronic pain. This is the beginning of a viscous cycle that often ends with dependence, addiction, and even death. Moreover, these medications do nothing but treat the symptoms of a chronic pain problem; they do not address the cause of the pain.

Chronic pain may be generally described as any persisting pain that occurs beyond the usual course of a disease or beyond the reasonable time for an injury to heal. There is a place for prescription painkillers in chronic pain management, but it should not be the only treatment, and treatment with prescription painkillers should not extend indefinitely.  Over time, when the body is receiving a constant supply of pain medications, a tolerance is built up. The body stops producing as many of its natural painkillers, making an individual more sensitive to chronic pain.

Chronic pain can be treated using a variety of methods besides prescription painkillers. Physical therapy is an often-employed method when treating chronic pain. Physical therapy uses a variety of methods to strengthen muscles and improve overall health to reduce chronic pain. Physical therapy focuses on the treatment, healing, and prevention of other diseases. Often physical therapy can address the source of chronic pain, prevent worsening of the chronic pain condition, and sometimes improve the condition causing chronic pain.

Massage therapy is also effective in treating chronic pain. Studies have shown that massage therapy can offer as much relief from chronic pain as narcotic pain medication. Massage therapy not only reduces pain in stiff and sore muscles, it also reduces cortisol, which is the stress hormone released by the body in response to chronic pain. Massage therapy has also been shown to improve circulation and reduce blood pressure, two things that tend to be affected by a chronic pain condition.

Some people, when seeking treatment for chronic pain, inadvertently become addicted to narcotic painkillers. It is important that these people receive treatment for both the addiction and the chronic pain. Addicts who receive treatment for the addiction and not the underlying chronic pain condition have a very high rate of relapse.

If you or someone you know is suffering from a chronic pain condition and needs drug or alcohol treatment, call us at (877) 711-HOPE (4673) or visit us online at

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