There are many spinal stenosis treatment options you should consider before resorting to surgery. Most patients with spinal stenosis respond well to non-surgical treatments such as medication, physical therapy, and gentle chiropractic care. Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, typically caused by age, injury, or congenital disorder. The condition can cause difficulty […]
Pain Medications for Pain Management
Pain medications often play a prominent role in pain management. Unfortunately, long-term painkiller abuse can lead to serious cardiovascular issues, liver and/or kidney disease or failure, decrease in immunity, gastrointestinal problems and even death resulting from toxicity or overdose.
Gentle chiropractic care can be a powerful tool in providing drug free pain relief.
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We Accept All Major Medical Health Insurance and Medicare.
Call 855-509-5400 to schedule your appointment.
In pain? Inflammation is to blame.
Pain is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. Injuries often cause micro-tears and micro lesions. These cause inflammation which in turn causes pain.
Pain lets the brain know that damage or death has occurred to the cells in the affected area. It’s also the way our body tells us not to use the affected area. Pain can also guide us in what to do and not do after an injury. Persisting in activities that cause sharp pain can cause even more damage and slow healing.
If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you may have refused treatment at the scene only to wake up the next morning feeling intense pain. The reason behind this cue to your body’s incredible ability to keep you alive. During your Florida car accident, your body released an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush, like pain, is another of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. This hormonal rush triggers specific processes in the body to help you survive. It decreases your ability to feel pain, increases your strength temporarily and sharpens your mental focus.
If you were being mauled by a tiger, an adrenaline rush is a good thing. It allows you to ignore your injuries and escape becoming a meal for a hungry tiger. However, the rush of adrenaline only decreases pain temporarily. After the effects wear off, you may be desperate to get your hands on immediate pain relief.
When you’re in pain, you want fast effective pain relief. You want to get back to doing everything you were doing before your injury. The fastest easiest way to treat pain is by using pain medications for pain management. Unfortunately, we’re learning that pain relief medications – both prescription and OTC – have an unexpected dark side.
Painful Truth: Pain medications do not speed up the healing process.
Pain medications for pain management – used in the short term – can provide symptomatic relief. OTC and prescription pain relief medications can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. They are especially beneficial to use while gentle chiropractic care breaks up scar tissue and adhesions, providing long term relief from stiffness and pain.
Unfortunately, we’re learning that you can’t find chronic pain relief in a pill. Opioid analgesics also known as narcotic analgesics, modify pain messages in the brain. Often prescribed for chronic pain, these drugs can be dangerous and addictive. In a horrific catch-22, they can actually cause your pain to get worse,
Prescription painkillers cause the pain you feel to increase over time.
New studies on pain medications for pain management are painting an especially grim picture pointing to the long term effects of using opioids for chronic pain. It’s call Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia or OIH. OIH is the increased perception of pain leads to needing higher doses to achieve the desired effect.
Studies show that when you use an opioid, it sets off a chain of immune signals in the spinal cord that amplify pain rather than dulling it, even after the drug leaves the body.1
Peter Grace, a neuroscientist at the University of Colorado Boulder is trying to trace hyperalgesia to the way opioids affect the immune system. His team injured rats to mimic the nerve pain humans feel. Ten days after the injury, half the rats received a 5-day treatment of morphine. Over the next 12 weeks, the researchers periodically measured the rodents’ threshold of pain. After 6 weeks, the injured rats that had received no morphine returned to the same sensitivity as uninjured control rats. Meanwhile, it took morphine-treated rats 12 weeks – twice as long – to return to the same pain sensitivity as the control rats. 2, 3
Using prescription painkillers to manage pain is a lot like blowing your nose with a tissue filled with sneezing powder!
The higher the dose, more risk of overdose all the while with the patient experiencing increasing pain levels. Some studies suggest that it makes the pain even worse than when the patient began treatment.
Based on what has been learned from animal and human studies, the following may be true:4,5
- The treatment of pain with high doses of opiates may increase the chance of greater levels of pain at later times.
- Taking high doses of opiates for chronic pain may increase levels of postoperative pain, even when their opiate doses are increased.
- People who use or who have used opiates in the past, may have increased pain responses to such procedures as having their blood drawn.
The key takeaway here is that your pain can keep increasing not because of an injury, but due to the action of the opioids themselves.
According to Dr. Al Clavel who specializes in pain medicine, there’s another reason opioids can make pain worse. He writes:
Our bodies have natural opioids called endorphins. If your body becomes used to opioid pain medication, its ability to create and use natural endorphins will decrease. This makes you lose the ability to reduce pain on your own.
Over the Counter Pain Relief
There are many safer, proven ways to help relieve chronic pain. One is by using over the counter (OTC) painkillers. OTC painkillers include NSAIDs (non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs) and acetaminophen relieve (brand name Tylenol). NSAIDS relieve pain by reducing the production of prostaglandins, which are hormone-like substances that cause pain. Acetaminophen works on the parts of the brain that receive the pain messages.
OTC painkillers are easily available, aren’t habit-forming, and won’t leave you constipated. However, even OTC painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. OTC painkillers have also been known to cause stomach ulcers and bleeding as well as liver and kidney problems. These risks increase with sustained use.
If you’ve been using OTC pain relievers for more than 14 days straight, you should probably talk to your health care provider about the risks. Just because its sold without a prescription doesn’t mean that OTC pain relievers are “safe” for long term use.
Topical Pain Relief
Topical pain relievers or liniments are also available without a doctor’s prescription. These products include creams, lotions, or sprays that are applied to the skin in order to relieve pain from sore muscles and arthritis.
Chiropractic Care for Pain Relief
Chiropractors specialize in treating the musculoskeletal injuries that cause acute and chronic pain. Chiropractic care includes a variety of pill free/drug free treatment modalities that allow your body to heal naturally.
Chiropractic care is proven effective. A study that compared the effectiveness of prescribed medications to spinal manipulation found that 94% of patients who underwent chiropractic treatment saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks. In comparison only 56% of patients who used regular medical care saw a 30% reduction in low back pain after 4 weeks.6
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
Acupuncture has been providing effective drug free pain relief for thousands of years.
Many studies have been performed to measure the effectiveness of acupuncture. Researchers with the Acupuncture Trialists’ Collaboration compiled the raw data from trials where the main outcome measures were pain and function. The results from these studies concluded that acupuncture is an effective method of treating chronic pain. They concluded that 7
- acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain
- that the effects of acupuncture persist for up to 12 months,
- and that the benefits of acupuncture cannot be explained away solely by the placebo effect.
The report itself 8 states:
Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain.
At Advanced Wellness Solutions, we would love to help you get back to living the life you love pain free! Call us at 855-509-5400 to schedule an appointment today.