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Health Fusion: The search for opioid alternatives for chronic pain

One in five. That's how many people the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says suffer with chronic pain in the U.S. Many find relief with opioids, but those medications come with the risks of addiction and overdose. In this episode of NewsMD's podcast, "Health Fusion," Viv Williams talks to two researchers who are exploring new ways to treat pain.

Chronic pain can erode quality of life. But so can opioids , the medications often used to treat it.

In laboratories at the University of Minnesota, two scientists are developing new ways to tackle pain, whether it's chronic or acute. Dr. Carolyn Fairbanks and Dr. George Wilcox are figuring out how to treat pain at the source or via the spinal column without involving the brain, which is where the problems with opioid addiction happens. Their methods are not ready for humans yet, but results are promising. The research offers hope to the many who struggle with pain.

Follow the Health Fusion podcast on Apple , Spotify , and Google Podcasts.

For comments or other podcast episode ideas, email Viv Williams at vwilliams@newsmd.com . Or on Twitter/Instagram/FB @vivwilliamstv.

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