Dr Oz: Pain Management Options
Dr. Oz said for everyone dealing with pain, every day there’s a new headline promising relief. He wanted to share three of the latest breakthroughs for pain: ultrasound therapy, capsaicin patches, or a new pain prescription. To help talk about the pain management options, Dr. Oz welcomed Dr. Natalie Azar.
Dr Oz: Ultrasound Therapy For Muscle Pain
The first pain management technique is ultrasound therapy for muscle pain. Dr. Azar explained that they used to really only use ultrasounds for athletes when they had injuries, but we’re starting to see more and more regular pain patients or those with soft tissue injuries benefiting from it. She said she loves it because it’s non-invasive and it’s administering sound waves to the area that is hurt or inflamed and increase blood flow to reduce swelling and pain.
She said they also sometimes use it to administer medicines directly into an inflamed area. She wanted to demonstrate the use of ultrasound therapy, and the woman said it felt cooling and like a little bit of pressure was being relieved. She said it’s supposed to be done in conjunction with physical therapy and most insurance companies are covering it.
Dr Oz: Capsaicin Patch For Pain Relief
The next pain management option Dr. Oz wanted to discuss was a capsaicin patch. Dr. Oz said there’s a whole new understanding of the science of the patches now. Dr. Azar explained that for the longest time we believed that the main mechanism of action was reducing something called substance P, which causes pain. But more research has suggested that it’s doing a lot more to the nerve endings of the skin, and in some ways defunctionalize them, which means they stop working. If the nerves stop working, it means they’re not transmitting a pain signal to the brain. The good news is that it’s reversible, so it’s not a permanent thing.
Dr. Azar said she prescribes them for people who have a few areas of localized pain. She said if you have pain everywhere, it’s not for you, because she doesn’t generally recommend it to people who have pain in more than four places on their body. She said you apply one or two of the patches a day, and you can get them for as little as $3 a patch at your local drug store.
Dr Oz: Lose-Dose Naltrexone Prescription
Finally, Dr. Oz wanted to talk about generalized pain and the new prescription for it called low-dose Naltrexone (LDN). Dr. Oz said normally when you have generalized pain, narcotics are prescribed which are extremely addictive. Dr. Azar explained that how it works is that it binds to the pain receptors in the brain and the brain is suddenly tricked into thinking it has no pain chemicals and starts to release endorphins. She said it was like turning the switch on some of the chronic pain syndromes, because narcotics are really the last thing they want to use.