Do You Suffer From Chronic Pain?
Dear Pain Sufferer: Pain can impact virtually every aspect of your life. Pain is a multi-faceted experience that can be emotional and sensory in nature. Pain can arise from actual tissue damage or it can arise as a result of nerve damage; both pain sources result in emotional and physical discomfort and distress and this can impact virtually every aspect of your life. Some of the most common chronic conditions associated with chronic pain include arthritis, fibromyalgia and migraines, though there are many other conditions and injuries that can lead to a situation involving chronic pain.
There are many approaches to treating chronic pain, but the most commonplace approach involves the use of medications for pain management. Unfortunately, oral pain medications can pose tremendous health risks, both in the long and short term.
Health Risks Associated With Traditional Pain Remedies:
Opiates are extremely potent pain relievers, making them a popular choice for chronic pain management. Opiate painkillers can treat moderate to severe symptoms, but they’re only moderately effective in the long term because the body becomes accustomed to the medications and dependence can also arise.
Prolonged opiate medication usage has not been extensively studied. But the studies that have been performed link these drugs to symptoms such as:
- increased pain sensitivity in the long term;
- decreased sex drive and decrease in sex hormone levels;
- and a reduction in immune resistance.
What’s more, opiates are highly risky when it comes to the potential for abuse. Long term usage of opiates leads to dependence, which can morph into addiction in some individuals.
In fact, in one year alone, approximately 16,000 individuals died from opiate drug abuse or overdose.
And an additional 56,000 individuals land in the hospital emergency room due to acetaminophen overdose. Acetaminophen, which is available over-the-counter and blended with narcotic opiate medications, is the leading cause of poison control center calls and it also accounts for approximately 50% of all cases of acute liver failure.
In addition, Celebrex users are said to have a 250% greater risk of dying due to a stroke or heart attack if they’re taking a dose of 400 mg or higher.
NSAID pain relievers are the third-leading cause of gastrointestinal-related deaths, and users of NSAIDs are also more prone to kidney failure, ulcers, internal bleeding, intestinal perforation, stomach ailments and liver failure. Due to these dangers, a total of six NSAID medications have been pulled from the market due to the dangers.
Topical Treatments for Pain Management
It’s not uncommon for good quality trends to be reincarnated throughout history and pain management is no exception! In years past, particularly in the ’50s and ’60s, topical pain treatments were very commonplace and they were frequently prescribed by doctors in the United States and beyond.
In the past half century, physicians have started to move away from elixirs and topical pain solutions, and they’ve moved in the direction of pills — a movement largely driven by the powerful pharmaceutical companies. This has led to a culture that’s ridden with pill-related issues such as dependency and addiction.
While many large pharmaceutical companies and physicians would have you believe that prescription opiate painkillers are the most effective solution, that’s not always the case. Each individual’s pain situation is unique and therefore, customized, pharmacy-compounded pain management solutions are often the most effective option since they’re tailored to the individual’s specific circumstances.
Individuals who opt for compounded medications can usually avoid the bothersome side effects that are associated with prescription opiate medications, such as stomach irritation, constipation and beyond. With this alternative pain management option, patients apply a topical cream to the painful region and the medication is absorbed directly through the skin.
Custom blended topical pain relievers typically include multiple medications, which allows for more effective targeting of the individual’s pain. What’s more, since multiple drugs can be combined into one topical solution, the patient avoids the hassle of taking multiple medications, as is typically the case with people who take pills.
In addition to being tailored to the patient’s precise condition or ailment, topical pain remedies can also be made to the patient’s precise specifications in terms of dosage. More precise, effective dosage means fewer side effects and greater efficacy. This is a primary benefit of pharmacist-compounded medications.
Transdermal creams can be tailored to include multiple drugs from multiple drug classes. The transdermal absorption is non-invasive and convenient, and since the dosage is more precise, the instance of side-effects and other adverse impacts are minimized or avoided entirely.