Rockford doctors offering opioid alternatives for chronic pain

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Chronic pain sufferers often feel like they have no alternatives to opioid painkillers, but one local neurosurgeon says there are better ways to manage that pain.

Instead of prescribing highly addictive painkillers, some doctors look for safe alternatives for back and neck pain sufferers.

Doctors at SwedishAmerican recommend weight management, exercise, and even acupuncture treatments to reduce pain and avoid opioids.

"Exercise is very key and find the exercise that fits better for each individual person. It's almost like each individual patient getting better by themselves as opposed to depending on an external agent for making themselves feel better," says Dr. Gayatri Sonti, a neurosurgeon at SwedishAmerican.

Dr. Sonti says she educates her patients on how opioids work within the body so patients will feel more motivated to try the alternative methods first.