A recent article in the New York Times, titled “Opioids Aren’t the Only Pain Drugs to Fear”, highlights the importance of how dangerous all forms of pain medication can be. (You can find the article here)
Take home points from the article:
- Opioids are not the only form of pain management that can have nasty side effects.
- NSAIDS (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, like ibuprofen and naproxen) can cause GI problems by damaging the lining of the digestive tract leading to ulcers and bleeding. They can even cause kidney failure, and in rare cases liver failure.
- If you have a history of coronary artery disease NSAIDS can precipitate clogging of the vessels.
- Tylenol can damage the liver and possibly the kidneys when used in large doses.
The moral of the story is that all forms of pain medication (even over-the-counter medications) can be harmful. Relying on them as a form of “treatment” can lead to other negative side effects. One of the biggest problems with pain medication is that it allows you to continue doing something that could be damaging your body further and can prevent you from getting the care that you need. Covering up the pain can only go on for so long until something breaks, tears, ruptures or completely degenerates.
What can you do to avoid becoming dependent on pain medication? The most important thing you can do is listen to your body. If you are doing something that is causing pain, don’t take a pill and continue on. Stop doing the activity that is causing the pain and let your body rest and recover. If you find the same area continues to hurt, then it is time to come into our office for an evaluation.
It can be difficult to determine where to start when you have pain. To eliminate your uncertainty we start all patients off with a quick consultation, and make sure you are in the right place and would benefit from our care.
To schedule a consultation, call our office at 716-629-3100 or use our online contact form.