It is all of the sudden hip to talk about the opioid problem in this country, probably because now nice rich suburb kids are overdosing from illegal drugs. That illegal use of drug include heavy pain killers made from opium, more common now referred to as opioid.
Pain killers are a problem because such a good job hiding our physical problems. As humans, being naturally lazy and wanting the fastest and seemingly easiest way to get rid of our pain, a headache or a back pain, we pop a pill.
I totally get it now. A few years ago, I had this bad case of sciatica that prevented me from seating down for more than five minutes at a time. Imagine standing so much to avoid the butt pain that your feet hurt, I could lay down but I could not sleep for more than two hours at time before the pain would wake me up.
The first idiot of a doctor I saw, prescribed Motrin, I tried to tell her it would not do anything, she was very condescending because she went to medical school, my chiropractic education was not something she cared to hear about. I finally took the prescription because I was desperate but I didn’t think I would fill it. I decided to buy but I didn’t think I would take it.
I had some classes to attend to where I would have to sit down for at least an hour at a time, I decided to try one Motrin. It was heavenly.
I was being consumed by this pain, I was thinking about it night and day. I could not sleep, stand or sit and suddenly, I take this pill and all pain was gone. I wanted to stay pain free. I would have to be sadistic or crazy not to.
Unfortunately for most patients, like myself, the present medicines, option treatments and therapies available work well. But just as each person has individual sets of symptoms and conditions, not all treatment options may be appropriate. Now if you are a back pain patient, it is best to seek clinical (Chiropractic, Medicine, Physical therapy, Massage therapy, acupuncture, even a nutritionist) help to customize a treatment plan that would work best for your case.
With my back pain, every time I took the pill I ultimately regretted taking it. The pill did not take away my pain, it blocked temporarily my ability to feel it. While I was not able to feel the pain I would do what I am not supposed to do, sit for long period, in my condition. I was allowed to aggravate the back pain. When the pill stopped working, the pain came back with a vengeance, I felt like someone was stabbing my buttock with a knife and I could not take the knife out.
So my pain was at 10, I took the pill it went to zero, the pill wears out, my pain goes to 15. I can take another pill to get it back to zero or I can wait for it to go back to 10 where I will be able to tolerate it since I have experience 15. Most people take the pill again to go back to zero. I understand, I thought about it. I also understand that is exactly how people because addicted to pain killers.
If I kept taking the pills to feel better, go back to level zero, within a week I would have to take, two pills, then three, then five would not work. I could blame the doctor who gave me the prescription, the pharmacist who sold it and especially the pharmaceutical company that made it.
Patients have a wide range of drug choices to treat their persevering back pains. Some drugs are especially designed to treat certain conditions only but many are rather so versatile that their use may apply even for releasing muscle tension, inflammation and treat spasm. Yet, as unfortunate as any treatments may be, all medications have side effects, some have extreme and intolerable side effects. It is prudent that you, at least, first discuss with your doctors the drugs you will take and the plans to conquer or even minimize the side effects.
Comically, most doctors prescribing the drugs don’t know all the side effects, if they know most of them won’t tell you. Otherwise, you might say something like “why the hell are you prescribing this….”
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
This type of drugs often consist of aspirin, Naproxen®, ibuprofen, Ketoprofen® and a lot more others. These anti-inflammatory drugs often induce healing from back pain and reduce inflammation and swelling. When taken on minimal doses, NSAIDs may act as mild analgesics (numbing effect) but larger doses may bring the effects of genuine anti-inflammatory drugs. The most common side effects of conventional Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are gastrointestinal conditions. However with the newer released items for NSAIDs (e.g. COX-2 Inhibitors), patients may be allowed to take higher doses without the accompanying risks of side effects.
Acetaminophen such as Anacin-3®, Valadol®, Phenaphen®, and Tylenol®, are commonly known to have the effects of ordinary analgesics- the typical alternatives to NSAIDs. Analgesics medications are employed for acute pain treatment. However, on some special instances these may also be used as treatments for chronic pains.
Because of their addictive nature, Opioids are seldom used as for management of back pain but if so, only for the most serious cases that requires instant, fast pain relief. These drugs are generally not prescribed and many physicians argue that they probably do more harm than good. Opioids include codeine and morphine, meperidine (Demerol®), OxyContin®. Or simply “the good stuff”. These drugs are also the source of a lot of crime.
Muscle Relaxants are known to stimulate the efficiency created in most Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs and are often recommended only for severe back pain. These include medications such as cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril®), methocarbamol (Robaxin®), carisoprodol (Soma®), and diazepam (Valium®).
For these medications to work at their best, guidelines for using them must be followed and the doctor’s advises are the only things that may help you best aside from other medical assistance.
However no one can save you from the side effects of these drugs if you take them. It is best to find non-medicated ways to manage your back pain. I know that requires some efforts and some responsibility but it is worth it when you consider it will save your life.