Each year thousands of Martin County residents are involved in car accidents. Here are 3 reasons to choose chiropractic care after a car accident. Some car accidents cause minor damage while others cause major damage. The severity of the damage to vehicles and the severity of the injuries vary. Did you know that the vehicle […]
Pain is one of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. 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 lets us know what to do and not do with an injury. Persisting in activities that cause pain often causes more damage and slows 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 is your body’s incredible ability to keep you alive. When your car accident happened, your body released an adrenaline rush. An adrenaline rush, like pain, is another of the body’s vital defense mechanisms. An adrenaline 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.
It’s understandable that you want to avoid pain. It’s understandable that you want to get back to doing everything you were doing before the injury. However, don’t be fooled by the clever marketing that’s been done to give you the impression that pain relief medications help the body heal faster. Of course, the ads never come right out and say that. There’s a reason for that – they can’t because it’s not true.
Pain medications do not speed up the healing process. However, pain medications can be very beneficial for the first 7 – 10 days after a traumatic injury. Pain medications – used in the short term – can provide symptomatic relief while chiropractic care breaks up scar tissue and adhesions, relieving stiffness, pain and the discomfort it causes.
We’re learning that you won’t find the solution to pain – even chronic pain – in a pill. Not only are opioid medications dangerous and addictive, they can actually cause your pain to worsen.
Prescription painkillers cause the pain you feel to increase over time.
New studies 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
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.
- 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.
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.
Using prescription painkillers to manage pain is a lot like blowing your nose with a tissue filled with sneezing powder!
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.
These are easily available, aren’t habit-forming, and won’t leave you groggy, dizzy, or even constipated. However, these OTC painkillers can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke. They 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 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.
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.5
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 or contact us to schedule an appointment today.