Do you have back pain? Have you been asked by a doctor to take OxyContin, Percocet, or Vicodin in order to feel better? If so, you should know that these back pain prescription drugs are typically synthetic derivatives of the narcotic morphine. And their side effects can be… rough, to say the least. Basically, a lot of people are taking opioids to feel better, but the problem is they become addicted to them and could very easily overdose, leading to… death. In 2016, for instance, overdoses accounted for some 42,000 deaths across the country. And in 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared opioid abuse to be a public health emergency.
Besides death, opioid use can cause nausea, vomiting, and constipation in the short term. Over time, it can lead to depression, liver damage, brain damage (due to hypoxia, resulting from respiratory depression) and sexual dysfunction.
The worst thing about opioid use, though, is how easy it is to become dependent on the pills just to get through everyday life. Once you start, it’s hard to stop, right? Opioids are addictive. If and when you’re told you can’t have anymore, what are you likely to do? You might try and steal money to fund your habit. You might try and steal drugs from others you know. Relationships might break down thanks to your new personality. Work performance will suffer, which ends up, typically, resulting in financial problems. So, the drug that was supposed to make your back pain feel better ends up ruining your whole life. You become someone you’re not– stealing, lying, and doing whatever it takes to get more pills. One overdose and you’re dead. This is not good, at all!
So what’s a person with back pain to do? Some take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories like Motrin, Advil or Excedrin. These drugs help decrease inflammation and swelling. They can also cause digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea, heartburn and stomach pain. Other potential risks can include internal bleeding, ulcers, heart problems and kidney damage.
Others rely on acetaminophen, commonly sold under the brand Tylenol, which works well for managing mild/moderate pain. What’s a risk of taking acetaminophen? It can damage your liver if taken in high doses. You shouldn’t take more than 3,000 milligrams daily.
Non-drug treatments for back pain can include ice, massage, exercise, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care. If you want to avoid taking opioids and other drugs for back pain relief, please call Lakewoods Chiropractic and schedule an appointment. The number is 651-464-0800.