Chronic pain sufferers often struggle to find a treatment that works. Opioids dull the pain, but come with the risk of addiction; drugs like Lyrica and Cymbalta can have unwelcome side effects; over-the-counter pain relievers often don’t work for severe pain; and alternative treatments like massage and acupuncture are not always covered by insurance.
So people experiment and try different things – often settling for something that just takes the edge off their pain.
That brings us to kratom, an herbal supplement largely unknown to most pain patients and their doctors. At a recent pain management conference attended by thousands of practitioners, I could find only a handful of doctors who’d even heard of kratom. I’ll confess I didn’t know much about it myself until a few months ago.
Maybe we should all start paying more attention.
In an online survey of 6,150 kratom consumers by Pain News Network and the American Kratom Association, nine out of ten said the herb was a “very effective” treatment for pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, opioid addiction and alcoholism.