- An estimated 52.5 million adults in the United States reported being told by a doctor that they have some form of arthritis or rheumatoid arthritis. It is also estimated that by 2030, 67 million Americans ages 18 years or older will have doctor-diagnosed arthritis. – www.cdc.gov
- Chronic lower back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide. 50% of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms. Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain. It is estimated that 80% of Americans will have back pain at some time in their lives.
So, it goes without saying that a significant number of people opt for pain medication to manage pain. In order to make regular functioning possible, pain medication is often administered to these patients. However pain medication is intended only for short term use, even for people with chronic pain, administration of pain medication is only meant for short term, to make their pain manageable while they purse other forms of treatment to address the root cause.
That is the ideal situation. Unfortunately, many people fail to identify the root cause of pain and continue to take pain medication. Consuming the pain medication to just mask the pain will have serious side effects, and in some cases can become fatal.
Increasingly doctors are prescribing short-acting opioid medications for chronic pain management. These are narcotic medications that provide pain relief for a short period of time and require frequent re-dosing. Our body naturally becomes more resistant to these drugs and hence over time demands higher doses for the same pain-relieving effect. Above all these short acting opioids are habit forming and have significant withdrawal symptoms like tremors. The patients will also be psychologically affected.
How To Address This Issue?
Pain Treatment Medication is not just about administering drugs and short-acting opioids. It should be a muti-facet approach, it is also important to talk to a highly trained pain specialist about the risks and alternatives to conventional pain treatment medication. You have to approach this issue in a holistic way. Talk to your doctor about
- Adjusting your medication
- Gradually eliminating medication
- Combating Dependency
- Handling withdrawal symptoms effectively (if any).
1) Talk to your doctor about safer alternatives, such as long-acting forms of medication. [Even these medications come with risks of dependency]
2) Just don’t stop at safer pain medication. Masking the symptom and not addressing the cause is not the right approach to handle your body. Failure to identify and rectify the cause can lead to very complex issues. Explore complementary and natural treatment like Ayurveda. Never give up.