Is Pain Medication Making You Worse!
Whether you are suffering with a recent injury or an ongoing chronic condition, it is important for you to understand that any pain you may have been experiencing is not the actual underlying problem. What a lot of people do not realise is that by taking pain medication you could actually be making the problem worse.
Just like thirst is a signal from your body that you are dehydrated and need to drink water, pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong. Put simply, pain is a warning sign. However, like the piercing sound from a fire alarm, the alarm itself is not the problem. It’s just letting you know that there is a problem.
However, regardless of the underlying problem, we all want pain to stop fast!
This has provided a massive market for pills and drugs like Neurofen and Panadeine Forte. These medications are effective in reducing the pain signals, but actually do nothing to correct the underlying cause of your pain. This is effectively like turning off the fire alarm so you don’t have to hear it while your house continues to burn down! Needless to say, this is obviously not a good strategy. Whilst it may help in providing short term relief, over the long term it is not actually fixing the problem, and may be making it worse.
Pain is a signal that let's you know: 1) Something is wrong, and 2) It will tell you when you are potentially going to do more damage. For example, if you have injured your back, and it hurts to move a certain way, that is your body telling you 'Don't do that, you are going to make it worse!' The real problem with taking pain medication is that you know longer 'hear' that signal or alarm. So yes, you can move more, but you can also do more damage. That is why taking pain medication can make you worse off, because you could actually be aggravating the injury but not be aware of it (until later!).
Now we are not saying 'Don't use pain medication under any circumstances.' There a definitely times when you need a bit of help to get you through, but you need to understand all the implications of taking pain medication. There are also many well documented, so-called 'side effects' (they are not 'side effects', they are just the other effects that the drugs have on your body, for example increased risk of heart problems and stomach bleeds, both of which can kill you!). In fact Paracetamol, the most commonly used pain medication, has been shown to have absolutely no effect on pain at all!
So whilst you may need to rely on pain medication for some relief, if you are suffering with a bad back, make sure you get professional advise on how to fix the underlying problem. Ignoring it often leads to more problems in time, and there are several excellent solutions out there.
Most spinal problems have accumulated over time from a combination of old injuries, poor posture and not moving correctly (for example, not lifting correctly). Just like tooth decay, your spine suffers degenerative change unless you give it the attention it needs. Loss of the normal spinal curves, thinning discs and calcification can accumulate over time due to spinal dysfunction.
As you would expect, aches and pains, stiffness, fatigue, loss of height and distorted posture can get worse as spinal degeneration increases. And the longer your spine has been ‘out’ the higher the likelihood of developing permanent structural damage.
The good news is that whatever your level of spinal degeneration, you can actually halt and even possibly reverse it by restoring normal spinal movement.
So as well as making sure you feel better now, with good spinal care you will be ensuring your future wellbeing too!
If you have any questions, or would like to share your own experience, please leave us a comment below.
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