Why do many health professionals recommend drug-free pain-relief approaches rather than popping pain pills? After all, if something hurts, it’s common sense to do what you can to feel better?! Few would argue that there is never a case for analgesic medications such as paracetamol. However, their limitations and risks need to be understood in the context of pain causes and mechanisms and factored into treatment of underlying factors. The for and against?
For new or acute injuries or traumas, pain medications may help to ease pain in the short term while appropriate treatment (e.g. RICE, strapping and hands-on treatment by a chiro or physio) is administered and takes effect. However, their use should not replace or delay appropriate professional assessment and treatment. They treat the symptom, not the cause. Other short-term pain such as toothache or a one-off headache may also often be safely helped with a mild pain reliever such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. (Pregnant women should seek medical advice before taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.)
For chronic pain or enduring conditions or injuries that cause pain, pain medications may be problematic. Pain medications are recommended for short-term use (usually a few days). It is important not to become dependent on pain medications. Another risk is that masking or numbing pain caused by tissue damage or injury may cause us to undertake activities that worsen the underlying condition as we fail to ‘hear’ the body’s danger warning signals. On the other hand, drug-free, hands-on techniques administered by a chiropractor or physio target the cause(s) of pain and seek to facilitate healing and lasting, drug-free pain relief.
If you’re in pain and not sure whether you need to consult a health professional, our friendly team is on hand to help. Call us or ask your question in comments.😊#keepsoaring