Pros and Cons of Pain Medication

When your back pain gets to the point where you are no longer able to function, the first thing you think of is “what can I take to ease this discomfort”? Why not stretch?

Being a sufferer of back pain myself, I know it’s easy to reach for that bottle of pills, whether it’s over the counter meds or something strong that your doctor may have prescribed.

I’m a big proponent of tackling my pain differently. Yes, my answer is stretching.

But before we get into that, let’s explore the pros and cons of pain medication.

Aspirin
Aspirin has always been the “go to” for pain and inflammation and is, in fact, a great place to start when you are feeling discomfort. But as with NASIDS, there are side effects of taking too much aspirin.

Aspirin is known to cause stomach bleeding from ulcers. It’s also a blood thinner, so you could find yourself bleeding more than normal from a small cut.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Ibuprofen and Naprosyn are effective for inflammation, yet these are hard on your kidneys. Once again, consulting your physician is the best avenue if you find you need a consistent dosage to relieve your discomfort.

Additional risks associated with NSAIDs digestive problems including bleeding and high blood pressure.

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
For mild pain, this will work, but the inflammation will remain and will do little to relieve your muscle pain since it doesn’t help with inflammation Your muscles and joints will continue to be swollen.

There are risks with taking too much acetaminophen. It’s proven that too much can cause liver problems, so it’s recommended that you monitor your intake and consult a physician if you find your intake is increasing.

Opiates
If you are unable to manage your pain with over-the-counter drugs or prescription NASIDS or Narco, you doctor may opt to prescribe Opiates. This is a dangerous road to take, yet sometimes necessary. Most times these drugs are combined with acetaminophen or ibuprofen and are usually short acting. There are others that the doctor will prescribe that are time-released. A pain management doctor will go through options with you to determine what is best for you.

You run many risks when taking opiates, especially long-term. This is dangerous when combined with alcohol and can be addictive. Discussing your drinking habits and any co-dependency history is important.

Neurological medications
Cymbalta, Neurontin, Topamax, and Lyrica are just a few medications you can be prescribed. These medications effect the nervous system to reduce pain.

So yes, these medications can help you, but the side effects can sometimes do more harm than good.

My recommendation is stretching. Daily!

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