As our lives have picked up the pace, so have our bodies in contemporary times. Although there are many benefits to this adaptive lifestyle, the most massive toll we have paid is our health.
With all the running around and pressure to meet deadlines, our health has taken a backseat. Thus, the day-to-day activities have begun showing their effects on our generation as we deal with pain.
Be it an athlete, a chronically ill patient, or an overworked employee, the pain has become commonplace, affecting the young and old alike. With changing circumstances, the tolerance and treatment of this pain have also evolved.
Role of Painkillers in the Present Time
Today pain-relieving medications are not only preferred by the patient but by doctors as well. This comes as no surprise that their usage is widespread these days.
Pain medications can come in various forms and may be used for many different treatment purposes. Be it a sprain, an ache, or pain resulting from chronic issues such as arthritis or gouts pain medication can be easy relief.
The main issue begins as soon as the dependency on such medication increases. Sometimes the overuse of pain medication can also cause complications, especially if these are over the counter medications.
Americans are the largest consumers of pain relief medications and opioids than any other class of citizens globally. About 43% of the population consumes pain medication, even when they are not in pain.
This means that a large number of the American population is consuming pain medication even without a proper diagnosis. Such massive dependency is bound to create far-reaching problems for average consumers.
This is because the pain medication is a part of the prescribed regimen of a doctor and, as such, must be consumed accordingly. Undue consumption can lead to many issues and complications in your body due to the side-effects of these medications.
How Do Painkillers Work?
Before understanding their issues and probable side effects from sustained use, it is essential to know how they function. Powerful painkillers include aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen as some of them over the counter drugs.
There are potent painkillers too that are available only upon prescription. These prescription drugs are some of the most powerful and effective drugs for medical use and are known as opioids.
As is generally the case with all painkillers, they do not cure the reason for pain. Instead, they shut the receptors of nerves that communicate the pain to the brain.
Therefore, in essence, rather than curing it, a painkiller numbs the nerve endings to give the perception of no pain. It is important to realize here that the source of pain has not been treated.
Most medical professionals utilize pain killers as a part of their treatment and not the treatment itself.
Painkillers are effective as a tool towards a larger medical regimen. For instance, a treatment regimen for cancer may include radiotherapy or chemotherapy, as the case may be.
To mitigate the pain caused by the procedure, patients may be asked to take prescribed doses of pain-relieving medication.
Benefits of Pain Relieving Medicines
- The main benefit of these painkillers is that they help you to carry on the routine functioning of everyday life.
- They subdue the effect of pain and calm the nerve endings to provide you with much-needed relief and comfort.
- For more serious medical conditions, they help to stabilize the patient’s responses by alleviating the stress, anxiety, or tension caused due to the pain.
- In a majority of cases, many patients have reportedly been rendered subconscious due to excruciating pain.
- Patients with co-morbidities such as cardiac and blood pressure related issues are especially at risk as pain tends to elevate heartbeat and blood pressure.
Without a painkiller, such a patient can immediately slip into cardiac arrest or worse – into comatose!
What Are The Major Concerns Of Consuming Painkillers?
Despite the obvious benefits and advantages of painkillers, not all is well and truly advantageous. These medications have a lot of side-effects that take their toll on the patient too. In Many cases, unprescribed usage of opioids has reportedly led to many medical complications.
- The most common issue with these medications is constipation. Due to high doses and numbing effects on the nervous system, they tamper with bodily functions.
- The chemical components of these painkillers are known to react with the blood and cause issues in bowel movements.
- For patients with renal issues or Type 2 diabetes, this can potentially endanger their health and may even prove to be a failure. Improper movement of the bowels is also a distressing sign in patients complaining of pancreatic or biliary issues.
Due to constipation, their creatinine levels may rise alarmingly and pose a fatal health risk.
- Amongst the many far-reaching side effects, these medications are also known to cause dizziness and drowsiness.
- Many others have complained of depression and sleep disorders, for which they have to use the best sleep aids for a good night’s sleep.
- Apart from this, itchiness, nausea, sweating is also some of the main side effects of sustained use of painkillers.
- The most critical setback in these cases is borne by the user’s immune system and because of which they are susceptible to fall sick again.
- Many patients have also cited addiction to painkillers and continue to consume then despite no apparent need. Prolonged usage can also raise the body’s tolerance to such painkillers causing long term issues.
- Over time, prolonged usage may result in the body developing a resistance to the drug, making it less effective.
To increase the effectiveness, users may have to increase the dosage to get the same effect of the drug. This is even more problematic for any patient as it might further the dependency on the painkillers.
It is essential to understand that though painkillers may alleviate your pain, they do not remedy it. As such, you must ensure that your pain-related issues are correctly diagnosed under expert medical care. Not only this, but you must also seek professional medical advice before opting to consume a painkiller.