Treating acute pain is a challenge we face during every urgent care shift. We’re all aware of the devastation that the opioid crisis has had on millions of people worldwide. And this epidemic - marked by addiction, overdose, and unintended consequences - has highlighted the need for alternative treatments to manage pain.
As clinicians, we regularly encounter patients wanting or expecting opioids to treat their pain. For years, opioids were the go-to option. We’ve since learned that even short-term opioid prescriptions can lead to tolerance, dependence, and addiction, making them a potentially risky choice for pain management.1 However, not all providers are comfortable or possess the knowledge to discuss safer and more effective alternatives to opioid medications.