Are You Prepared For Pain?
Are You Prepared For Pain?September 7th, 2018 by Cindy Perlin
Pain is a fact of life. Far too many people are living with chronic pain. Even if you’re lucky enough to escape chronic pain, acute pain can come at any moment. Accidents happen. Painful illnesses can come on suddenly. Even though pain itself is not generally life threatening, choosing the wrong pain treatment can be. Are you prepared?
As regular readers of my blog know, three weeks ago I broke my ankle due to employee negligence at a department store. Two weeks ago I had surgery on the ankle, which included the insertion of a plate and six screws. Because of my 40 year history of managing various chronic pain issues, my research and writing of a book on alternative treatments for chronic pain and my creation of a website on alternative pain treatments, I was as well prepared as anyone could be to safely and effectively treat my pain.
It is extremely common for physicians to prescribe opioids for acute, painful injuries and surgeries. It is also much more common than most people realize for this to be the start of an opioid addiction. In as little as a week, some patients can get hooked. Economic status, education, race, age and lack of an addiction history are immaterial—it can happen to anyone. And that addiction can end in an overdose death.
There are other problems with opioids too. More than 50% of patients either don’t experience pain relief or find the side effects so intolerable that they discontinue them. Opioids also suppress immune function, which can be critical in the case of injury or surgery. And research indicates that the use of opioids for acute pain increases the likelihood that the pain will become chronic.
The National Safety Council cites research indicating that the use of a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen is more effective than opioids for acute pain. This can be a safe strategy in the very short term, but chronic use of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen or naproxen for more than two weeks significantly increases the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes, as well as kidney damage. Overuse of acetaminophen can cause liver failure, which is fatal without a liver transplant.
Here are some other options that are far safer.
- CBD oil – CBD is a compound found in marijuana as well as its relative, hemp. It does not cause a high. Hemp is a legal product and CBD oil derived from hemp is legal and available almost everywhere. It can be purchased online. CBD is a very effective pain reliever. It also helps decrease inflammation, reduces anxiety, promotes sleep and eases opioid withdrawal. It is also neuro-protective and anti-carcinogenic.
- Kratom – An herb from Southeast Asia, a relative of the coffee plant. Has many similar effects to CBD, including pain relief, reduces anxiety, promotes sleep and eases opioid withdrawal. Less expensive than CBD oil and also available online.
- Homeopathic remedies – Based on the principle that “Like cures like”, homeopathy uses extreme dilutions of substances that would give you the same symptoms you have. It gently stimulates the body’s healing systems. Well known remedies for pain include arnica for muscle soreness, bruises and sprains, ruta for inflammation and hypericum for nerve pain. These inexpensive, durable remedies are worth having on hand just in case. There are also homeopathic ointments that can be applied to injured areas. One well known one is Traumeel, which works well for sprains. One line of homeopathic products specifically formulated for pain is Dr. King’s Homeopathic Pain Relief Products.
- Penetrex – This inexpensive ointment includes anti-inflammatory herbs and homeopathics. Works great for muscle soreness and inflammation.
- Electric Massager – great for treating sore muscles and inflammation and increasing circulation to promote healing
- Guided visualization CDs to put your body and mind into its optimal healing state for pain relief and healing
- nCap patches for pain relief and speedier healing
- Tapping Therapy – painful injuries can also be accompanied by emotional trauma, such as when they are the result of an accident or assault. Processing the trauma with rapid trauma resolution techniques such as energy psychology tapping therapies can help reduce pain.
More expensive if you can do it:
- Pulsed Electromagnetic Field (pEMF) devices like the Oska Pulse, which normalize the electrical potential of injured tissue to reduce pain and inflammation and speed healing.
- My favorite: Low Level Laser or LED light therapy, which changes the permeability of the cell walls to increase oxygen, nutrients and ATP (cellular energy) to reduce pain and inflammation and speed up healing. Great for painful joints, sprains, wounds, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries and other painful condition. See my recommended system HERE
Consider assembling a pain relief first aid kit so that you always have what you need to stay safe and comfortable in case of abrupt onset of a painful condition.
You can find even more ideas for treating acute and chronic pain on the Alternative Pain Treatment Directory.