Whether you’re an avid follower of the news or not, it’s nearly impossible to avoid hearing about the current opioid epidemic in the U.S. According to the National Institutes of Health National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 90 Americans die each day after overdosing on opioids, including prescription pain killers. But when patients need relief from pain, what alternative is there to drugs that can be highly addictive, and harmful if misused? It turns out there are choices when it comes to pain relief.

One such alternative pain therapy is the ActiPatch. BioElectronics Corporation, maker of disposable, drug-free, pain therapy devices, recently announced that CARE Pharmacies will introduce the company’s ActiPatch Musculoskeletal Pain Therapy medical device to pharmacy patients. The patch helps relieve pain due to muscle and joint soreness, strains and sprains, arthritis, and fibromyalgia. The user adheres the Actipatch to the painful area. ActiPatch’s electromagnetic signal pulses 1,000 times per second to stimulate neuromodulation of the nerves to dampen the brain’s perception of pain. In a press release announcing the collaboration, Mark Ey R.Ph., Vice President of Operations at CARE, called the FDA-cleared device “a safe over-the-counter alternative to opioids.” CARE pharmacists will offer pain consultations in concert with the sale of the musculoskeletal pain patch. According to the press release, new research shows that pain persists because the nerves have “learned” pain. As a result, the body becomes highly sensitive to pain signals that don’t go away even after the injury has healed. Prescription drugs and TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) aren’t as effective because they don’t target the abnormal pain signals in nerves. ActiPatch’s technology reaches into the painful area to safely disrupt abnormal pain signals. It can be used 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and apparently has no harmful side effects. Unlike with TENS devices, wearers feel no tingling, no heat, and no vibration.

Chronic pain is one the most challenging conditions to treat. Sufferers want relief, but don’t necessarily want to rely on often expensive — and potentially addictive — medications to alleviate their pain. The ActiPatch device is meant to provide long-lasting pain relief safely and effectively, without the use of drugs. Now people with chronic muscle and joint pain may be able to get back to normal daily activities like exercising and sleeping well, without resorting to prescription drug therapies.

UPDATE 2/8/18: We recently posted an update in error, that linked to a study about a different product. We apologize for the error.