Apparently recognizing that the general public has become aware of the life-threatening dangers of opioid pain medications, WVU Urgent Care has taken the initiative to promote its non–opioid philosophy for pain management. In an article posted their website, they take a stab at educating patients on other options that may be appropriate to help diminish pain, depending on the patient’s condition and needs. In that article, WVU Urgent Care physician Saira George, MD explains that the general goal is to try to control pain while the body does its own healing. In the course of describing the process, they also do a fine, subtle job of sharing that patients can get x-rays on site as physicians assess for fractures or dislocations. “For these types of injuries, resting, icing, compressing, and elevating the wounded area (RICE) can relieve pain, limit swelling, and speed healing,” the article explains. “If needed, we’ll stabilize the injury with splinting, wrapping, or taping, so the wounded area is protected and shielded from further injury. Occasionally, even the act of stabilizing the injury can provide some pain relief.” In this way, they start to set expectations that narcotic pain relief isn’t always necessary for effective pain relief. It also lists nondrug therapies like
exercise, stretching, physical therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic treatment, and acupuncture. These are all important messages for the patient to hear, as many may be anxious about the perceived options of either being undertreated for pain or potentially becoming addicted to narcotics. Educating patients that there is a middle ground both encourages them to seek appropriate treatment, and lets them know that WVU Urgent Care seeks to help them get it.