The Opioid Crisis: Alternatives for Chronic Pain Relief

Chronic pain from sports injuries, arthritis, and other medical conditions leaves millions in a challenging position. As long-term pain takes a heavy toll on mental health and daily activities, it’s no surprise that opioids grew so popular in the early 2000s.

This article explores the dangers of using opioids for chronic pain, available alternatives and their risks, and why you should try Capsadyn™ for safe, fast relief.

The dangers of opioids

The opioid crisis began in the mid-90s as doctors began to prescribe opioids for pain relief. Since the initial crisis, additional waves of overdoses have affected our population. 

The CDC states:

“The first wave began with increased prescribing of opioids in the 1990s, with overdose deaths involving prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids and methadone) increasing since at least 1999… The second wave began in 2010, with rapid increases in overdose deaths involving heroin… The third wave began in 2013, with significant increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl.”

According to the CDC, opioids were involved in 80,411 overdose deaths in 2021. This represents 75.4% of all drug overdose deaths in the Nation.

Addictions and overdoses aside, there are plenty of additional risks that come with opioid use. A 2008 study from Pain Physician Journal lists the following potential side effects.

  • Constipation (most common)
  • Sedation
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Respiratory depression
  • Hyperalgesia
  • Immunologic and hormonal dysfunction
  • Muscle rigidity
  • Myoclonus (involuntary twitching)

Available opioid alternatives and their side effects

If you’re experiencing chronic pain, consider today’s opioid alternatives such as other medications, topical creams, and holistic approaches. Your doctor can help you make the best decision considering any of your existing conditions and medications. 

Topical Creams

Topical capsaicin creams are a low-risk alternative for long-term pain management. They use chili pepper extract to block nerve pain as they soak into your skin. While burning and irritation is a common side effect for most capsaicin creams, Capsadyn™ offers a unique non-burning formula.

Lidocaine cream is another opioid alternative, which is safe in moderation. Lidocaine creams work by blocking nerve signals from the site of pain that travel to the brain. Use with caution – according to, lidocaine can absorb into the bloodstream and cause complications if used in large amounts or left on the skin for too long.

Prescription topical medications for moderate to severe pain include diclofenac and corticosteroids (also for oral or injectable administration), both of which can produce dermal disorders and systemic absorption with long-term use.

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin

Some of the most popular over-the-counter alternatives to opioids include ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin. While effective, these medications are not meant for long-term use. 

For instance, daily use of ibuprofen can cause heart, liver, and kidney complications; ulcers; and GI distress. states that daily use of acetaminophen can damage the liver, urging you to check with your doctor before doing so.

And finally, lists the following risks of long-term aspirin use for some individuals: stroke caused by a ruptured blood vessel, gastrointestinal bleeding, and allergic reactions.

Muscle relaxants

Prescription medications such as Flexeril (Cyclobenzaprine) can be used for pain associated with musculoskeletal disorders such as spasms.  Skelaxin (Metaxalone) is a different type of muscle relaxer also used for pain, however side effects from either of these medications include

  1. dizziness
  2. drowsiness
  3. lightheadedness
  4. dryness of the mouth

Other drugs include baclofen, diazepam and Soma (carisoprodol), but all muscle relaxants have an extensive list of dose-related side effects.

Massage and acupuncture

Some natural remedies for chronic pain include massage and acupuncture. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states, “How acupuncture works is not fully understood. However, there’s evidence that acupuncture may have effects on the nervous system, effects on other body tissues, and nonspecific (placebo) effects.”  However, because such effects on the nervous system or body tissues is not considered to be conventional medical care, the therapeutic efficacy of acupuncture has not been fully established at this time.  The primary side effect is bruising and discomfort at the site of needle insertion.

Massage and acupuncture sessions are low-risk treatments. But be prepared–treatments might be expensive, the outcomes vary widely, and oftentimes the treatments are not covered by insurance. 

Lifestyle changes

While lifestyle changes might not completely stop pain, they can certainly reduce it. In fact, an article from the National Center for Biotechnology Information states that low protein diets paired with little exercise are a recipe for back pain: 

“A study of 2367 middle-aged and older adults… found that low protein intake and lack of regular exercise are associated with high odds for low back pain in women… In addition, another review… argues that diet/nutrition might be ready to transition from a cancer recurrence/prevention strategy towards a chronic pain management modality for cancer survivors.”

Increasing sleep, gentle stretching and exercise, and diet changes are helpful tactics to relieve pain. You can also safely combine lifestyle changes with any of the previously mentioned pain relief methods.

Capsadyn™ offers a safe, over-the-counter alternative

With easy application and little to no risk, Capsadyn™ is worth a try for pain relief. Its proprietary formulation makes it the only capsaicin cream that blocks pain with no burning or skin irritation. Therefore, it can be used at the highest concentration of capsaicin allowed by FDA regulations for an over-the-counter cream. 

Capsadyn™ is safe for daily use, and some say there is an increase in effectiveness as it builds up over time. Common long-term uses include arthritis, back pain, sprains, bruises, and strains.

Order Capsadyn™ today and see how it can help you through your chronic pain.