"Chronic pain is a huge issue worldwide, and the United States has not been able to avoid being part of this crisis. Opioid use continues to be a massive problem. Over the counter pain medications like Aspirin and Tylenol are taken in bulk just to get through the day. Some people go as far as doing nothing to avoid painful activities altogether. People are looking for pain relief, but they just can"t find it. So what is the secret to long term pain relief?
Let"s look at common options for pain relief before digging into how long term relief happens. Pain Medications
Whether it"s an opioid or Tylenol, pain medications are probably the most commonly used treatment for pain relief. The problem is that they don"t fix the cause of pain in most cases. Regular use, even if it"s "only" for a few weeks, can also have significant side effects. Chronic use of NSAIDS (Aspirin and Ibuprofen are common examples) is linked to weakening of soft tissues, which can make muscle or tendon tears MORE likely. Opioids have the obvious side effect of addiction as a possibility, but also tend to have a significant impact on your digestive tract and energy level, among other things. Doing Nothing
Doing nothing is rarely the option for anything. Resting an acute (new, often sudden) injury is important, but at some point you"ll need to be more proactive. Having a strategic approach to becoming more active is vital, especially when dealing with chronic pain. Alternative Medicine
This is a broad topic and includes practices like homeopathy. These approaches are becoming more and more common in part due to the rising costs of traditional healthcare. The issue with alternative medicine is that there isn"t evidence for the success of these treatments. You might ask yourself, "Where"s the harm in trying?" If your goal is trying to save money, you might end up spending a significant sum without seeing any benefit. Not only can certain types of alternative medicine be harmful, but you"re also losing valuable time you could be using on productive treatments. While these alternative medicines are usually good-natured, they often do not work and can become costly. Chiropractic
Chiropractic care works, and has a good deal of evidence behind its efficacy for many injuries. The issue with chiropractic care, and specifically chiropractic adjustments, is that you as a patient are passive in the process. Every few days you go in, get adjusted, and a few days you"re back in again for the same thing. This continues for months without long term benefit. This isn"t always the case, but if this sounds familiar to you, you should be considering other options to manage your symptoms (which could still mean seeing your chiropractor)."
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