Get off the NSAID Train! Go for Drug-Free Relief, Instead
By Dr. Mark Wiley, David Levine & Steve Hefferon
Chronic pain is persistent, long-lasting discomfort that doesn’t resolve itself or respond to routine pain-relief methods. Clearly, despite their arsenal of elaborate and costly hi-tech medical procedures, doctors cannot diagnose how to stop this growing national health emergency.
Today more than 150 million Americans suffer chronic pain. This amounts to a whopping 100% increase in just a dozen years! How is it possible, with our modern scientific mainstream medicine, that people are suffering more, not less?
When it comes to pain relief, most people turn first to their medicine cabinet and have more than one pain reliever on hand to choose from. It’s as if while we were children we hopped aboard the NSAID Train, and the pain relief destination was never reached. There are so many options along the way… and yet none of them are healthy. Let’s look at why.
While acetaminophen (Tylenol) offers temporary pain relief and fever reduction, it does not reduce swelling (inflammation). It can be harmful to the liver and kidney if you take more than the recommended dose.
Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Yes, NSAID’s work fast to relieve acute pain, but they may cause gastrointestinal bleeding. They may also be harmful if you have high blood pressure or kidney disease. And they should NEVER be given to children. Aspirin has been associated with a disease called Reye’s syndrome in children.
Yes, these work as well as NSAIDs while being less harsh on the stomach, but numerous reports of heart attacks and stroke have prompted the FDA to re-evaluate the risks and benefits of the COX-2s. COX-2 drugs such as Vioxx and Celebrex were actually taken off the market because of these risks.
This class of prescription drugs is powerful, but abuse and addition are serious side effects. An estimated 20 percent of people in the United States have used prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. The problem is serious and it is growing. The availability of drugs is probably one reason. Doctors are prescribing more drugs for more health problems than ever before. Online pharmacies make it easy to get prescription drugs without a prescription, even for youngsters.
When experiencing pain and deciding whether or not to reach for OTC or RX drugs, remember that pain is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is…Drugs Don’t Heal!
If you are still in pain from a recent injury, or are suffering chronic pain, then you know the Golden Rule of Pain: Drugs don’t fix the problem, they only mask the symptoms. And pain is a symptom, not the problem.
Pain relief medications should only be used temporarily, if needed. The more natural and preventive approach is to understand the pain problem, and take proactive approaches to relieving pain and preventing new pain. And there are so many options for pill-free pain relief to choose from. None better than healthy lifestyle choices.
Relief Is In Lifestyle Choices
Natural, lasting drug-free pain relief is based on wide reaching lifestyle changes. Simple changes can go a long way to reducing and preventing pain from your life. Here are some tips.
Maintain a healthy weight
There is no question that eating healthy is not easy nowadays, whether you’re at home or at a restaurant. But at the very least, you must try to decrease your intake of sugars and hydrogenated oils and increase your daily intake of fiber. Ideally, you should be consuming 35 grams of fiber (that is a ton of fiber, but it’s worth shooting for).
Get better sleep
7 to 9 hours of sleep is a must for optimal health; getting a good night’s sleep is key to controlling systemic inflammation.
Relax more often to lower stress levels
Find time for yourself throughout the day to focus on your breathing and clear the clutter from your mind; learn to stay focused on the most important tasks in your life.
Exercise on a regular basis
People always ask me: What’s the best exercise to do? I always tell them: Do something you like to do and, if your body can tolerate it, aim for 15-20 minutes three times a week.
Manual therapies aid relief
Manual therapies, such as massage, chiropractic and other forms of bodywork do wonders for keeping the body supple, stretched, relaxed, and pain free. The removal or diminishing of trigger points and spasms and the increase in blood flow which brings nutrients and oxygen to painful areas… is like a wonder drug in itself.
Seek alternative practitioners
When your lifestyle changes have done as much as they can to reduce your pain, it may be time to see a practitioner of alternative therapies. There are so many great methods to choose from, including acupuncture, Emotional Field Therapy, Rolfing, Alexander Technique, Sedona Method, etc. It is best to do some research into your individual heal issues and seek out a holistic healing method and practitioner that meets your needs. Research and consultations go a long way to helping you decide.
Use natural Homeopathic remedies
When on-going pain relief is sought—as in chronic condition and immediate acute trauma—we recommend turning to natural Homeopathic products for help. Systemic proteolytic enzymes, such as found in the formulas Heal-N-Soothe and Rub-On-Relief, offer methods of removing metabolic waste from blood and tissue while bringing fresh blood, oxygen and nutrients to help healing—without the synthetic drug side-effects.
In the end, what is important is that you give up your reliance on prescription and over-the-counter pain drugs. They do more long-term harm than short-term good, and should only be used in emergencies. Making the necessary and correct lifestyle changes will do much more to provide lasting pain relief, but putting you into a life of prevention… which is always the best medicine!
Written By: Updated: August 3,2011