Some chronic pain patients are choosing not to take prescription medications, and are turning instead to therapy to treat their conditions.
Tom Payne is one of those patients who visits Pain Consultants of East Tennessee weekly for his therapy.
"My daily pain level is about a 6 to 7," Payne said. "After 8 heart attacks, a bad back and cancer, I really want to get back up on my feet again."
Payne decided it was time to find the right treatment to manage his pain.
"I want to be in the game. I want to be a dad. I want to be a husband and I want to have a life. I don't want to live in a pill bottle," he said. "I'm willing to suffer a little bit of pain and a lot of hard work to get where I want."
Payne goes to occupational and physical therapy to learn certain sleep positions and to manage his movements.
"They've prescribed nothing. No pills. No medications," he said.
Kimberly Breeden with PCET said their job is to give their patients tools to keep living their lives.
"Most people don't even realize that there are non medication options for them that there are ways for them to learn how to manage their pain that it doesn't necessarily have to come from a bottle," Breeden said.
Payne said opioids do not work for him and he is also scared to become addicted to them again.
"I was hitting that button every chance I could get for more pain meds because I liked it, I liked it and that scared me to death," he said.
Payne made a change for himself and for his family so he can be the dad and husband he wants to be.
"If I can get back healthier than I really am they are all going to get a kiss whether they want it or not," Payne joked.