Are Pain Killers Causing Your Headaches?

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What should you do when you have a tension or a migraine headache? What should you do when you are experiencing chronic pain? Take a pain pill, right? WRONG! Most people don’t have a second thought when it comes to taking analgesics for their chronic headaches or other assorted aches and pains, but research from the St. Louis University School of Medicine demonstrates that “analgesic use seems to be the primary factor in promoting the development of chronic pain.” It was found that painkillers, instead of helping relieve the chronic pain, can actually be the cause of it.

“The best thing a person with chronic headaches can do is get off the painkillers,” says Paul Duckro, associate professor of psychiatry at St. Louis University. “In our studies, two-thirds of the chronic headache sufferers benefited from the withdrawal of medication.” Two-thirds of the chronic headache sufferers not only did not get rid of their headaches with the medications they were taking, but increased their severity through the use of analgesics.

“Evidently, at a certain point in a chronic sufferer’s intake of analgesics (including aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and the stronger narcotic painkillers), the headache becomes drug-induced. In an irony of biology, a substance intended to reduce pain becomes a factor in producing it.” Ibuprofen is the “pain-relieving” ingredient in Advil, Motrin IB, Nuprin and many other headache medications. Acetaminophen is the active “painkilling” ingredient in Tylenol. You should be aware that these popular medications may be hindering your recovery from your chronic headaches. And even worse, the medications that are supposed to be relieving your pain may actually be the cause of it.

According to Duckro: “The person takes some aspirin, but the pain increases. So the person takes some more aspirin. Then the person begins to take aspirin in anticipation of the pain, thinking, ‘If it’s this bad when I’m taking medicine, it’s going to be unbearable without.’ Gradually, the person – and it’s more often a woman – gets a headache whenever the medicine is not being taken.” (Duckro is director of St. Louis University’s Biobehavioral Treatment Center, which has its own headache management program).

Dr. William Bennett, head of nephrology at Oregon Health Sciences University, estimates that over-the-counter painkillers are responsible for as many as 20% of the 125,000 cases of end-stage kidney disease in the United States. All drugs have side effects. These can include dizziness, lightheadedness, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, liver damage, kidney damage, internal bleeding and many other symptoms including death. We have always known and recognized these possible negative consequences from ingesting drugs (unless we don’t read the labels), but we continue to take these analgesics by the mega millions with the hope of relieving our pain and discomfort.

There is no guarantee that if we take a pain pill for our chronic migraine headaches, stomach aches or other types of pain it will actually eliminate the pain. There is also no guarantee that we won’t experience unwanted reactions to the drug itself. But when the pain gets so bad we often decide that the possible relief outweighs the risk associated with the analgesic.

But what most of us do not realize is that there may be one more consequence from taking medication for chronic headaches. We may find that the analgesics are actually the cause of the symptoms, that without them we wouldn’t be having so many headaches. If you suffer with chronic headaches you may find that the pills you are taking are actually inducing your discomfort. And you may also discover that when you stop taking the medication you begin to experience fewer chronic migraines. After all, according to the director of St. Louis University’s Biobehavioral Treatment Center two-thirds of the chronic headache sufferers benefited from the withdrawal of medication.

Adopt Correct Postures To Get Rid Of Back Pain

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Back pain can affect an individual in many ways. Apart from the sheer physical discomfort of not being able to sit, stand, walk or even move a few steps conveniently, there are even deeper and more sinister results of back pain. Many a time, back pain has a telling effect on one’s nerves, and the irritated back pain sufferer makes life miserable for his family, friends, and his boss. This latter result can even have deep repercussions on the person’s career prospects. In short, the emotional well-being of the all the people around the back pain sufferer are made victims of back pain inconvenience.

So what then is the cause of such a nagging inconvenience?

The answer is a simple one: poor posture. In other words, the way you stand or sit or even lie down, has a great part in bringing up the back pain. If you slouch, stretch or jerk your movements suddenly, you are directly inviting back pain. The back muscles suffer a strain due to poor posture. In more critical cases back pain might be linked with subsidiary symptoms like sprain, ligament pain, and joints pain. In the most severe cases, back pain might also be due to a slipped disk. Thus the causes of back pain are numerous.

In addition to these infrequent incidents, there are other issues that bring about back pain. The commonest of these is lifting of weights. In homes and work places, we tend to lift heavy pieces of furniture in a bid to re-arrange the place. While all this might bring about a change and may even lead to convenience of life, the task, if performed suddenly, can lead to back pain. As the body is not used to lifting heavy furniture, one tends to position oneself inadequately so that the weight is not properly distributed. And the task results in a slipped disk or some linked problems that may then bring about acute episodes of back pain.

In cases of slipped disk that usually result from such careless movements, the need to be vigilant is even more pronounced. Usually a slipped disk results when one is lifting the furniture item on re-twists one’s body from the top of the waist rather than from below the waist. This results on the onset of a spasm. Indeed in the acute cases of back pain, one is even confined to bed rest.

When the back pain becomes unbearable and exercise is not possible as the spasm is acute, one can try a simple posture-correction routine. By lying on one’s back on a hard floor and lifting one leg at a time, up to the chest, one can provide the much needed relief from back pain. Pillows should be placed below the knees and the entire task should be performed slowly and carefully so that the body does not suffer from twinges of pain, while being relieved of it. In this way, the root cause of the disease will come to light and thereafter the steps to improve the back muscles will make you less prone to back pain. You can also make these steps as a part of your daily exercise routine.