SCOTTSDALE (3TV/CBS 5) -- Some Arizona doctors have changed the way they prescribe painkillers to help try and curb the opioid epidemic plaguing Arizona and the entire country.

Dr. Matthew Crooks opioid alternative fentanyl

Dr. Matthew Crooks’ procedures involve cortisone shots to not only ease the pain but fix the underlying cause of that pain.

Dr. Matthew Crooks of Pinnacle Pain and Spine is one of them.

He believes fentanyl, a drug that is 100 times stronger than morphine, should not be prescribed for patients undergoing relatively minor procedures.

"It’s too strong, too dangerous and again, just like any opioid as strong as it is, if you have a normal life expectancy, you will become tolerant to that medication, the fentanyl even and you’ll require even higher doses of that for the same pain relief," he explained.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Fentanyl's Fatal Fallout]

He believes doctors are partially responsible for the prevalence of opioids in our communities.

Dr. Matthew Crooks

Dr. Matthew Crooks

“There is some responsibility on the physician’s part. Some of it is misplaced, wanting to help the patient and wanting to treat the pain and not maybe doing their due diligence or their full education in terms of the risks of that medication, but I do think physicians do have a role in opening that Pandora’s box and allowing that out in the community.”

[FENTANYL'S POTENCY: Why this synthetic opioid is so deadly]

Crooks’ procedures involve cortisone shots to not only ease the pain but fix the underlying cause of that pain. He says most of his patients can resume their normal activities within a day or so.

Bill Rahr recently saw Crooks after re-injuring his back.

Bill Rahr

"You get too addicted to that stuff (fentanyl and opioids), Bill Rahr, who sees Crooks. "You hear so much about it and I don’t think it’s worth; it’s absolutely not worth the gamble." 

“What Dr. Crooks does is the real answer, I think, and that maybe people aren’t really aware of,” he said.

Crooks says the only people who need fentanyl outside of a hospital are terminal cancer patients who are in extreme pain at the end of their lives.

[RELATED: The different types of opioids]

 


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(31) comments

Failed ACDF Pseudoarthrosis

I had this procedure done, 2 of them. Was scared to death, nothing like a needle and meds injected into your spinal canal, no big deal right? Wrong! I got hives, and had relief for about 4 days. I was fine on my meds for 5 years. Quit torturing pain patients!!

AZ Dont Punish Pain

I really hope the AZ family will read all of these comments and start reporting the truth about these awful injections. They are not approved by the FDA and have life long debilitating side effects. I’m really shocked and very disappointed you’ve focused on false reporting. The patient in this video has no idea about pain medication and how it all works. You can’t just call any doctor for a refill. In order to get pain medication you need to be seen monthly with urine screening and pill counts! It’s a humiliating experience that most pain patients dread every month. Don’t get me started about the pharmacy visits. Most patients are being forced off these medications that’s once gave them relief to get out of bed. Most pain patients are being abandoned by doctors and are now applying for disability and have no quality of life. It’s beyond disgusting what’s happening to these patients. I could go on and on about what’s happening and what’s so wrong with this article but I’m hoping with enough comments you will actually do the research and tell the true story here. Chronic pain patients please join your local don’t push pain rally Facebook group. We need your help!

Keenam81

I think it's sad that the people who actually need pain medications have to suffer because of what other people has done or because of what half of these ignorant doctors think. I had a spinal fusion in 2016 and been in deliberated and excruciating pain since DECEMBER of 2016. Doctors refuse to give me the medication I need just to make it through the day comfortably. They treat me like a lab rat giving medicine that I don't need and don't help me at all..not every one is a addict..some of us actually need our medication. Only way I can get relief is to go to emergency room and I find myself going there 3 to 4 times a month. They tell me to tell my doctor to give me something and when I do I get the lecture about CCD ... having rods in your spine is no joke..no laughing Matter..and when it rains or weather changes I can barely get out of bed..but doctors don't care..I also found that only certain people are able to get medications. They gave it to the white people with no problem here...and make the black people suffer. I'm trying to get medications now as I'm going to see pain management..but I'm starting to also think I need to file a complaint with lawyer for discrimination. The doctor that did my spinal fusion surgery wont even return any of my phone calls wont check up on me or anything. So definitely using him for the pain and suffering I've endured...I'm just 38 and I can't even interact with my children or family because the pain will not allow me. I basically have no life. And therapy isn't a option because I went one time and following day I wasn't able to move at all the pain was even worse. How can you want some one to do therapy and not give them anything for comfort afterwards. Doctors are treating patients like animals..then they wonder why pills are flooding the streets..people are going to continue buying pills off the street along as these doctors refuse to give them what they need.. and its only going to get worse..all because of a stupid law that doesn't see people as human beings...

PainRebooted

With almost 30 years of incessant pain and 33 damaged vertebrae and 3 medical conditionsinduced by exposure to long term acute pain), i think I've had enough exposure to chronic pain to credibly respond as well. And I am in full

This doctor, "Crooks" appears aptly named. Because any self-described doctor that claims:
1. Cortisone shots are new...
2. They are an effective, long-term solution for the masses (much less that they will solve the long term pain needs of even a meaningful minority of chronic pain patients.of enen a

MysJane

Sad when Dr.s lump everyone in the same category.
Not every person taking opiods is an addict.
Cortisone is a very limited use medicine as it causes detrimental effects over relatively short time..
Chronic pain has been my companion for over 30yrs. Existing is far different from living.

DeQuester


For chronic pain patients wanting their voices to be heard, here’s a link for a survey. Answers are being collected to have the voices of chronic pain patients be heard and shared with Congress.
http://nationalpainreport.com/what-does-the-largest-chronic-pain-patient-survey-tell-us-8838953.html

DeQuester

Another propaganda article demonizing opioids. This article makes it seem as though fentanyl is the go to opioid, commonly prescribed to pain patients. The truth is, most folks who take opioids don’t take fentanyl, and they either are currently receiving these same steroid injections or have received them in the past. The do injections help many, but they aren’t a cure all. Many still need pain medication in addition to the injections just to perform routine daily tasks. Opioids allow them to do that, as well as have some form of a normal life. Without their pain managed, many folks are becoming increasingly depressed and distraught, and some even become suicidal. By demonizing opioids and removing them from the lives of those living in pain, it has only created casualties of those battling pain every day. These people were not abusing their medications or getting high from them, but they are the ones now paying the price for those who chose to use options recreationally. This knee-jerk reaction is not well thought out and will only serve to produce more casualties as some of those living in constant pain will choose to end their suffering, some already have. The DEA should not be driving the bus in regards to how doctors decide to treat their patients. Period. We do have an epidemic in this country, we have a few, one is stupidity in how we react to a crisis. Another is drug abuse, however, today it’s opioids, yesterday it was meth, before that crack, before that... Pushing to eliminating the drug of choice today from society only pushes those who abuse drugs to find another substance. Perhaps offering rehab and a path to a brighter future is a better option than punishing those already in pain and struggling, especially when we all know those who abuse drugs will just find another drug to abuse, albeit benzos, cocaine, meth or whatever they can find. The issue is that they are self-medicating, not that they are seeking out opioids specifically because they had them once when they broke their leg, and they made them feel so good, they sought them out like a fiend, a fiend with opioid madness. This narrative is as ridiculous as the Reefer Madness narrative of yesteryear. If they weren’t trying to escape from their miserable reality in the first place, they wouldn’t be self-medicating. We need to address the real problems in this country that are driving people to numb themselves, whether it be with alcohol, pot, opioids or any other substance. Chasing the drug of the day and trying to eliminate it has solved nothing, ever. We are still fighting the war on drugs and losing. It’s like Vietnam, we’re losing and we continue to lose more and more people every day, especially the young. It’s time to accept that this approach does not work, and we need to find another way to try to win this battle. Personally, I think a combination of rehabilitation/therapy, learning better coping skills, ALONG WITH a path to a bright future. The DEA is chasing the dragon with the way they’ve chosen to battle the problem of drug addiction in this country. The media who share propaganda with articles like this are part of the problem as well, and are only serving to harm patients with pain.

DavidRN

As a medically retired RN and chronic pain and chronic pain syndrome sufferer, this doc, like so many others, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!! I’ve had so many cortisone injections, that I’m unable to have more, without worsening my generalized osteoarthritis!! Many never helped and those that did, only provided some minor, short term “relief”!! I agree that fentanyl, prescribed by uneducated physicians, without close monitoring, can be extremely dangerous!! For minor procedures, such as endoscopies, its a safe and useful medication!! Proofol, administered by a CRNA or anesthesiologist, is a better option in my opinion!! For chronic pain, there are many safe and effective strong opioids/opiates, as long as prescribed by a conscientious physician, with close monitoring and no refilling of “lost” or “stolen” meds!! Of course, a theft or fire, verified by ones police and/or fire department, is an obvious and rare exception!! Most opioids have no ceiling, as to their dosage increases over time and beneficial effects for a tolerant and responsible (not addicted) patient!! They also, can be interchanged when tolerance develops, e.g. morphine substituted for oxycodone, OxyContin added to oxycodone, Opana substituted for a fentanyl patch, various cocktails formulated, etc. Until the DEA instituted Florida pill mills in 19996, the year OxyContin came on the market in admittedly too high of dosage strengths. (unnecessary 80 mg. tablets), the only “crisis” regarding opioids/opiates was heroin addicts OD’ing and a few incompetent physicians prescribing too many strong opioids for minor and temporary ailments, when a few T3’s or hydrocodone tablets would’ve sufficed!! When the Purdue Pharmaceutical Co., reformulated Oxycontin to a non-crushable and thus non-injectable and non-intra-nasally abusable opioid, the cost of short acting oxycodone tablets (5mgs/tablet) and the long acting OxyContin tablets became prohibited and addicts turned to the much cheaper and easily available heroin!! Unfortunately, chronic pain pts. are now being forced to do the same and dying as a result!! Many, after taking pharmaceutical opioids/opiates for years, without problems, before being cut off by uneducated, non-thinking, non- caring and hypocritical oath taking docs!! DO NO HARM and RELIEVE PAIN means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO THESE people!! Unless of course, it’s their wives or significant other who’s suffering and threatening to leave, if not treated appropriately!! Let’s hope this doc has to eat his words and take cortisone injections for severe chronic pain, until his joints are destroyed and he’s left losing his work, income, passions, and basically living a nightmarish existence, that he, like so many other docs, sit by and watch their patients endure, while the life drains out of them!! Patients, that they’re supposed to take care of!! NOT KILL, like they caused my younger brother to do via suicide this past summer to end his agony!! Wonder when my turns coming? My bed and recliner ARE NOT a LIFE!!

OaktownUSA

This article is medically irresponsible. They present this like it's some kind of new revelation that's going to be a panacea for all who suffer from chronic pain. 5 years ago I was diagnosed with bone-on-bone osetoarthritis in my right hip. I was referred to an orthopedic surgeon who recommended a cortisone injection, which I agreed to. The procedure took about 20 minutes, required an anesthesiologist, xray technician and the doctor. They all billed my separately, along with the facility where the injection took place. Total out-of-pocket cost to me was $5,000. Four about 4 weeks my right hip felt great, then the cortisone wore off and the pain intensified threefold. I couldn't even sit on the couch and watch TV, because my pain was do bad I couldn't focus on what I was even watching. I have never been a big drinker, but I started drinking tequila at home to help numb my brain so that I could have some degree of comfort. Finally it got so bad I made an appointment to get my hip replaced. The orthopedic surgeon who specialized in hip replacements, and is one of the best in Northern CA, told me that a cortisone shot was not the right course of treatment for bone-on-bone arthritis. It was like putting a bandaid on a cancerous melanoma. I have to tell you, they say a hip replacement is one of the easiest surgeries, but knowing they are going to fillet you like a chicken, cutting off the ball of your femur and pouding a titanium stake into it, makes you think twice. But when the pain gets so bad, you just don't care anymore. Even if you die on the table, you're thinking, "at least I will he rid of this pain". The tab for that surgery as billed to my insurance company was $173,000 for a 2 night stay in the hospital, the devices and the surgery to install them. Six weeks after that surgery I had a massive tear in my left rotator cuff repaired. It was a $35,000 outpatient surgery. They gave me a brachial plexus nerve block injection in the neck prior to that surgery, and sent me home with three 10mg Oxyxontin pills for pain. The next morning when the nerve block wore off the pain in my shoulder was excruciating. The Oxycontin has ZERO effect on quelling my pain. They told me to come back in for another nerve block. They just put the needle in my neck and charged me another $2,700.

The point I an trying to make is that cortisone injections have have been around for a LONG time. They are a short term fix and they are VERY expensive. Responsible and competent orthopedic surgeons will NOT administer cortisone when arthritis is bone-on-bone, nor will they administer them when diagnosed with a torn rotator cuff. I know, because I asked for one and my doctor told me, we don't give cortisone on muscle tears because it can only make your situation worse. Also, physical therapy does not only NOT work on advanced osteoarthritis, it can make your condition even worse.

If a doctor ever recommends a cortisone injection for ANY joint related condition, be sure to ask them what's the end game before you agree to it. The doctor knows it's a temporary fix, and that over the long term, repeat cortisone injections to treat the same issue is dangerous to your overall health. Just like with opioids, there are risks associated with longterm cortisone injections.

At the end of the day, of people are self-destructive, take drugs recreationally and are willing to put an unknown substance that they purchased on the street into their veins, they should not be lumped into the same category with responsbile people who have legitimate pain issues related to disease or an accident. The DEA needs to lay off the doctors and start going after the drug cartels who are putting poison onto the street.

Asinn83

[yawn] These views cannot be undertaken as Medical Authority, Policy, or any of the like. Dr. Crooks may view opiods and ooiats one way but bottom line there are pain patients that CANNOT FUNCTION IN DAILY LOVING ACTIVITIES without a certain amount of medication to stave off the pain whatever the cause if long term put patients in a more poor quality of life. This is a straight up outcry and being an AZ resident who is lucky enough to have a Pain Professional who understand the government should not be anywhere near dictating the decisions of what way to treat pain. I suffer from. A list of massive medical condition and I gurtantee the specific way the " Opioi
d Cri6si" has played out in the media is a false facade coming into play due to the Gov. not being able to control the illo it side of things , pain patients who do not get early scripts, ask for higher and higher and higher dosages , do not abuse third meds( take as RX'd), passes all urine tests should not have to fear a tapper unless they are fully ready, they should not have to worry about the effect of the DEA,FDA,HHS,CDC'c fake fake fake fake statistics point to Opiod prescribing. This is an outcry and every chronic pain patients should be calling this state Senator, Regional City Officials , whatever it takes ,no matter how many calls and how many times you call you must keep your persistence because sooner than later more and more patients will be grouped into ( a non Opiod necessary treatment category) the government will endure this happens, already the delivery and amounts of opiods shipped are to a major defecit and the goverment is ensuring pharmacies only get a certain amount of opiods distributed to them. This is just another starting point the Strategic Opiod Plan in AZ is going to slowly but surely cut off any ,many people's access to the medications necessary for daily funtioning. All the posts I have read I concur with I have had many surgeries, many chronic 0ain conditions that luckily fall into a category where they can only start taking away if the GDA approves the development of an ADF( Abuse Deterrent Formula) around the clock medication , I work, I cannot exercise, PE causes more harm than relief by far, only tolerate accupuncture, have had all the steroid shots , ridiculous compensation for the procedure if I were not a State Employee my co-pays and Insurance coverage would bye now left me broke.I feel for every chronic pain patients and it's unacceptable straight up 110% unnaceptable to 2. Target persons with chronic pain conditions who have been stable on medication for over a certain amount of time. 2. Those that pass urine tests, pill counts , coinside with no early refill dates,etc 3. Have so much pain they are referred to a Pain Clinic for third ailments. Sure Cortizon and all the injections and ( nerve ablasions), may work for some but not all. The number one statistic that all should remember is even long term studies, many , many , many of them have showed up the 2% marker of patients who get addicted. No opiods should not be RX' d w/o proper evaluation but those who fall into a category in which medication is necessary to even walk, go to the bathroom, stand, not be in extreme pain that would lead a normal person the the ER, funtioning, has stayed even the slightest bit improved bye a medication interventions, and have conditions that will either have to have medication RXd due to past treatments and costly BS that Dr. S are being now pushed into doing and are extremely prevelent without any such improvement of the patients pain, or suffer , suffer , suffer. Until the only way out is suicide or turning to illicit drugs to cope with daily pain and this is where the overdose stats are extremely skewed as well. In AZ they count every single overdose that is polysubstance ( multiple drugs) as an Opiod overdose to push the numbers up, Anyone that is a terminally ill paitient who dies with Rxd opiods are also counted which is disgusting , and so many more misleading stats they try and vilify prescription ipioids, not to mention if a person ODs and dies from an unprescribed Opiod they are also counted so all the chronic pain patients are being underserved!!! Do not let this happen call you state contacts and demand in a professional manner yet persistent and steadfast , strong, sturdy, factual, and persistent no matter what is said or how. Many times it takes to get an official city, region, state and even National levels all must know this travesty is hurting others rather than assisting. If fake fentanyl and heroin need to be cracked down on which stand for 59% of Az's Overdoses then that is another area law enforcement needs to get involved but see it's much easier to just cutting off the RXd opiods that the Government has tabs on like PDMP systems, DEA is all over every counted tablet that goes where, what the Draft are Rxing, how much in MME' S s which is a total fraudulent extremely ancient way of measuring how many pills are over prescribing or within regulatory lines. This is where Dr. S become afraid to treat even know they know the medication as a complimentary part of a pain plan is what takes it complete, comprehensive, and a major part including other holistic therapies, massage, aqua, PE, injections, meditation, yoga, stretching, etc which all cost a fortune for the average person to even start to explore. So please don't stand still while the government continues to take away civil liberties just because they can control the system of prescribing and not the illicit overdosing. Take action and be strong.

Jyoho

These injections may help those in minor to moderate pain,but in the long run they will actually cause harm. They are dangerous and in fact have strong warnings against their use from the FDA. I have suffered from arthritis since I was a child and have been subjected to every alternative treatment out there. At this point in my disease I live in 8 to 10 pain around the clock. The only thing that allows me to stand up and take care of personal needs is opioid use. Those of us in chronic and or terminal pain do not experience the euphoric high that a well person might. It is barberic to clump ill people in with the illegal drug users on the street.Due to the current drug war I have been denied my prescriptions, and been forced out of pain treatment. Why? I am not using heroin or fentanyl on the street. This insanity must stop. Since when are humans treated less than a dog? Oh wait...they are pushing euthanasia in many states...maybe soon they'll just put us all to sleep to unburden the medical system. I gaurantee you the deaths on the streets will not decline as they aggressively eliminate those of us who are sick.

Lynne

Why write an article that makes it look like this doctor had a brilliant unusual way to solve the issue. Almost every pain management doctor offers these shots snd other ways to control pain as well. So this is nothing new. It only makes the folks who have already tried these options feel judged. Sometimes pain meds are the only option left for certain issues. Then once a script is written certain pharmacies wont fill them anyway as they say its too strong and you dont need it. Or the pharmacy has already filled ther quota for the month. That's not right as I live in a town with massive retirees. Alot of which take some sort of pain control for surgeries etc. Number one they are not doctors and number two they have NO RIGHT to judge me based on articles like these. And trust me they do. Just sayin!!

TeHndrc

I’d like to clarify that this is not the only physician or pain groups to offer “alternatives to opioids.” There are many very qualified pain physicians in the valley who provide steroid injections.
Also, it’s obvious that many people in chronic pain are under-treated now, thanks to this opioid crisis that pharmaceutical companies & less-than-ethical (or uneducated) doctors started in the first place.
There are several alternatives overall, but not enough to address every patient’s needs. Medical cannabis is another alternative that far too few physicians recommend. Not everything works for every person. A little less judgment and more understanding is needed all around.

JustinP

I know nothing about this on the medical side, I will admit. But my question is, how come we have more people in crisis pain now then we did 30-40 years ago when we didn't have all of these drugs. Honest question. Please don't rant on me. I really want to know what was used then and why it is not a possibility now. (I do know morphine build up can destroy organs, but that's it.)

Daisy

I AGREE (because I too have endured Most if the Same All who posted above! I am so angry regarding this whole Opioid Crisis! What a load of BulI. I no longer trust the medical community, the big pharmaceuticals nor the FDA!!!! A bunch of paper pushers Own our lives....yes I’m Angry! I’ve even contacted a tv news channel to listen to. I heard One story that gave us about a minute of Air time! Check my post out on Facebook. Donna Sullivan. I’m not afraid to share because what I Preach is Very Real!!! We don’t Choose to Want to be suffering in daily pain! Here’s some new food for thought. Think about this...we need say knee surgery! you do Everything right prior to surgery, immediately after and post long term, but the knee pain is 5 times as bad as it was when you started....guess what? The doctor will deny Any additional treatment or procedure! He won’t want his good name marred with a “problem” with His Skill!!!!! AND there’s No Guarantee for his work....you’re SOL

Jeffsampson

First I a, NOT an AZ resident just to be fair and honest. Doctors and articles like this truly make me sick to my stomach then hope one day they suffer just half of what I do yes just half you will learn real quick this is non sense but I want you to suffer lack of treatmentslike myself and millions of others. I am maxed out at two injections per year and 20mil or morphine twice per day with 15 mils of oxycodone while this may sound .ike a heavy doses it's not by any means in the next paragraph, I am going to include just some of my very serious health problems.
Here are just some medical factual health problems. Juvenile arthritis developed into full blown psoriasis arthritis with psoriasis the double whammy. I fell three stories at work uninsured caused by a tonic conic seizure (gran mal)my fall caused over seventy broken bones with many compound fractures, spinal stenosis, lung disease, Epilepsy, Addisons and many many surgeries along with many side effects and complications. I have been kicked out of physical therapy due to get this they are doing more harm than good, THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST BUT ONE MORE FACT from S3 two L1 had artificial disks installed two rods and thirteen screws this alone destroyed my life. My doctor wanted to do a sleep study awhile back even though I only g st two to three hours of sleep per night but I agreed and checked in went to the sleep center had tons of wires connected sanded my skin in some places to g set a good connection when suddenly the man doing it looked me in the eye and asked me what my pain level was I told him I was okay let's just move forward he said I have been doing this a long time and insisted I rate my pain I said oh about an 8 will be a nine plus in a couple of hours he said what's that a twelve for the average person I said oh no they would be in an emergency room screaming and begging for help. I had an appointment a few days later with my doctor and I wanted to make sure he knew my side of the story so my meds weren't taken away from me if I don't agree with whateverthe doctors want I know they will take what little help I get anyway he immediately got mad and told me I am not getting more angry I yelled back and said I don't want more why there isn't any point in wanting, needing or begging and pleading for more it just falls on ignorant deaf ears!
I beg God to just please let me die but here I am 57yrs old am sure the day will come when my only escape will be suicide. What I find so ironic never use any illegal drugs never have taken more than prescribed have passed every drug test and pill count every single one of them. My nephew stole a bottle of percocher i prosecuted he was given 16.5 years in prison they were able to connect him to other crimes because I took action. Yet nothing I have Ben through nothing I have done has earned me one ounce of respect! When I see these articles based on non sense my blood just boils. I wish all doctors could suffer just one week of serious pain before they are able to make ANY judgement calls on those of us real pain sufferers.
DOCTORS IF YOU SEE THIS ARTICLE SHAME ON YOU AND SHAME ON THE LAW PREVENTING US THE REAL HELP WE NEED SUICIDE FOR MANY IS OUR ONLY WAY OUT A GOD FEARING GOD LOVING MAN I AM HAVE THESE THOUGHTS MANY TIMES EVERY NIGHT EVERY DAY!!

Kmimmytoo

I am sorry that some people cant control themselves, but don't you dare group those of us in chronic pain with them. We all have tried cortisone injections and frankly, they don't work and there are times that they just make the situation worse. In Europe, they are more understanding of opioids in USA we are so paranoid that we have left many of us in a very bad state. Shame on our government for stepping in an area they really know nothing about.

Dependant Not Addicts

Dr's need to realize that not all CPP can tolerate these injections and have extreme reactions. Dr's need to look into genetics of each patient and test for the missing gene in liver that metabolizes different meds as some need pain Relief through patches that do not go into the intestinal/gut. It's Not a one size fits all. The war on pain management is horrendous and has left Millions suffering in agony and many prefer death than debilitating pain. It's the street addicts that are dying from elicit drugs! In fact only 2% of pain patient's become addicted Fact! CPP are being targeted when in fact 98.5% are responsible patients who need pain management to achieve somewhat of a normal life. To group all CPP together is Corrupt. I suffer from Incurable disease and Spondylosis ankolylitis, Chronic pancreatitis (Autoimmune) Interstitial cystitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Migraines and Malabsorption, which has caused extreme weight loss. This article is misleading. To say that opiods should only be used at end of life cancer patients and not for CPP is astonishing! Keep CDC/DEA out of the Dr's office as these agencies have No education on how the body works. This is a campaign against CPP and hurting the most venerable who live in daily chronic pain. The Powers that be are aware that Street drug use is the problem and the cause of so many deaths. I've seen many resort to suicidecafter forced taper due to the debilitating pain that took their lives, including one Veteran who succumbed to heart attack after forced taper. It's a shame that our Government dictates and Rules over our Medical Dr's scaring them into submission in fear of loosing their licence to practice and jail time for treating CPP. when all other modalities fail such as Physical Therapy, Acupuncture, Massage, Psycho Therapy ect than CPP have no other choice but to control the pain with onions through a trusted pain management Dr. We are Not Addicts, we are Dependant on pain meds in order to get through each day without agonizing pain. #Keepgovermentoutofit

Missy6995

This is bull I have had them shot s and let me tell u they don't work for everyone for pain them shot also called me to have pe for different times in both lungs and now I'm on warfine for the rest of my life cause of this shots ..

Pete67

So called easy fixes like this make me laugh. I've had tons of injections. With little results. They play roulette. Guessing where your pain evolves from exactly. I've had therapy. Patches. Nothing works for me except the pills. I've had two accidents. A fall at work. And I was hit head on by a guy who passed out behind the wheel. I fractured several vertebrae. And it only added to the congenital problems I had. I have been diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. A rare form of Arthritis. It's an autoimmune disease. Plus extremely bad stenosis. I had Gastric Bypass several years ago. And had ulcers afterwards. I have tried taking Arthritis medication. But it does a lot of damage to your stomach. I can't take them. Same thing with NSAIDs. I live with pain every day. The pain medication is the only thing that takes the edge off. Giving me a chance to move around a little. I don't know what I would do without the opioids. It's my only chance for any sort of life. Simple injection fixes. Aren't going to fix what I have.

SADAR

I have chronic pain due to Degenerative disease and spinal stenosis, I take pain meds every day twice a day to be able to have a daily life outside of my chair and bed. The shots are not ideal for someone who has a serve allergy to steroids, one shot and I almost stopped breathing, so if they take the pain meds then where does that leave me. Before taking them away from people like me they should do it on individual assessment of each patient and yes I know it would be time consuming but grouping everyone in one category is doing harm to many. Dr's need to take more time with their patients to know them then they can know their needs. Not sure Average of time a Dr spends in exam room but I had one we timed and before 3 minutes he was out the door. No longer my Dr.

Share 2020

That is total nonsense. I have had two back surgery because of L-5 S-1 disc degeneration and almost bone to bone now and have pain 24-7 those shots don't work very long at all. Taking away pain medication is not the answer for people who need them just to get along every day.

Smallblock360

I fell from a areal lift 19 years ago,numuros surguries and doctors have tried everything,I have a pain pump and I do take OxyContin, been on the same dosage for 16years , they do help some people. Shots did not work for me , made me worse.. So think about that before you take them away from the people that need them. I’m not saying some people don’t abuse them, but everyone doesn’t,. I can hardly get my script filled anymore and god forbid don’t change doctors, good luck finding one that will write you a script.so thank you government.

AMC

There are many types of pain that require various types of modalities for treatment, and often prescription pain medication for long-suffering chronic pain patients. The shots mentioned in this story will only work for some. It is not a one-size fits all. What is very misleading is the notion put forth here that the "opioid crisis" is coming from prescription medication. Nothing could be further from the truth. National statistics have shown illicit street drugs, illicit Fentanyl (not prescription Fentanyl) and heroin are the cause of most overdoses and have been for several years. Yet, chronic pain patients suffer due to the erroneous narrative (also put forth in this story) that patients get addicted at a high rate to their pain medication. Less than 2 percent of chronic pain patients ever become addicted. Yet, we are being removed from our treatment because heroin and street Fentanyl overdoses are on the rise. #DONTPUNISHPAIN

BeckaLoo

I have Trigeminal neuralgia & occipital neuralgia , known as the worst pain known to mankind, I am not at the end of my life nor need opiates for cancer however I do need them to live a somewhat normal daily life. Without them, I would not be able to function. I hate that I am on them as well as seizure meds but that is what works. These shots do not work for all, it's not a one size fits all as stated in the article. Suicides are on the rise due to this view from the medical field & chronic pain patients need a voice!

LELevine

I agree. Sometimes 1/2 of an opioid gets me out of bed in the morning so I can do all of the health-giving things that strengthen my body... Don't know what would happen to me if I didn't have that opportunity. yes there is and I hope you had a pajama cake but that doesn't mean that every single person who uses opioids addict who should give them up.

LELevine

Sorry for bad dictation. Wanted to say yes there is an option epidemic, but not every user an addict, and many need it so we can access other healing practices, instead of being bed bound

Tomasino5009

This article is unbelievably erroneous.
Chronic pain patients, specifically patients that suffer from failed back surgeries, the vast majority of them have all undergone numerous corticosteroid injections in an attempt to relieve their pain.
The reality is cortisone injections fail miserably at relieving chronic pain. Cortisone injections however are quite effective in helping to heal specific injuries such as a torn meniscus cartilage in the knee.
The opioid war is misguided. Many chronic pain patients must have the opiates simply to try to get dressed each day. My life and hundreds of thousands of other chronic pain patients rely on their opiates to try to function at best. The people that are over dosing is street addicts shooting heroin, seeking out fentanyl and any opiate they can get their hands on. Chronic pain patients simply are not in this category. The pain clinics are now underprescribing opiates to the patents that truly need them.
By the way, I have had so many cortisone injections over the years that it caused severe cataracts in both eyes when in my 40s. I suggest that each state start issuing a 'medical opiate approved card' for the patients that require such care similar to a medical marijuana card. There is a great incentive for Dr. Crook in Arizona to do cortisone injections, in fact there is a great financial incentive rather than to prescribe the necessary opiates many patients need.
I'd love to know what he receives for doing the 20 minute procedure compared to writing a script...

Trigg

I agree wholeheartedly with this. This is summed up in an excellent way that not only are those of us with chronic pain all too unfortunately familiar with, but will hopefully register with everyone else with less understanding of the situation as well. I'm all the way in Oregon and saw this article pop up and I'm absolutely disgusted with how one sided and non factual it is. I've had cortisone injections, epidurals, nerve block injections and almost up to nerve ablation (nerve burning)*unfortunately my insurance required four rounds of injections before approving the ablations, that I could not only not afford them even with insurance, but the injections caused so much more pain for weeks after that I could not have them done *
to treat my chronic pain from multiple spinal conditions from birth defects. Each injection caused more pain than I was already in and was extremely costly. And to be honest those doctors do get a fairly large financial incentive for certain procedures or injections, I had to leave one doctor in the office who refused to treat my pain other than injections that did more harm than good and I couldn't afford. Doing some research and speaking with other patients numerous people had the same problem. It's so terrible that the witch hunt for opioids is harming people that are in so much pain and long for death or even a thread of a normal existence.

SADAR

I have serve allergy to steroids so I agree it's not a solution.

DrugDeadOrg

Tebanicline, a nicotinic analgesic, is 200 times more powerful than morphine and not addictive-- it is also not marketed. Cortisone can help but not everyone tolerates it.

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