Dr. Bell's Blog

5 Healthy Pain Killer Alternatives...

Addiction to pain killer medication, specifically opioid based, is a problem that is fast growing out of control.  Opioids are a class of drugs that include heroin on the illicit drug level, as well as the prescription pain killers oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, along with others. Have a look at some of the startling statistics found in the American Society of Addiction Medicine in regards to these drugs:

  • In 2015 there were 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription opioid pain killers, and 12,990 deaths related to heroin overdose. 
  • in 2012 259 million prescriptions for opioid drugs were written, which is more than enough to give every American adult their own bottle of pills.
  • From 1999-2010 prescription pain killer overdose deaths among women rose over 400%, compared to 237% among men.
  • 4 in 5 new heroin users started out misusing prescription pain killers.

One of the biggest problems with Opioid based drugs is how quickly someone can become addicted to them. People can also develop a quick tolerance to them, resulting in the need for more to still get the same desired effect.  Here is an ironic part, opioids can actually INCREASE pain sensitivity, causing people to reach for even more.  You see, it is just a vicious cycle that can be so very hard to escape.  

Here are 5 Alternatives to Help Manage Pain

1. Capsaicin:  Produced from chili peppers, capsaicin is a potent pain reliever. It is available in a skin cream (0.25%-0.75% capsaicin) that can be effective to relieve acute back pain.

2. Arnica:  Can be effective for swelling, bruising, soreness, arthritis, and post-surgical pain.  It has also been used for many years by midwives to ease the pain of child birth.  It too, is available in a cream for topical use.

3. Tumeric/Curcumin:  These food based ingredients have been shown effective for pain relief and reducing inflammation.  It can be taken in capsule form, brewed as a tea, or simply used in your favorite curry dish.

4. Exercise:  Activities like running or brisk walking stimulate the body's release of natural endorphins. This causes a jolt of dopamine to the brain which binds to receptors in the brain the same way opioid pain medication does.  This is where the term "Runner's High" comes from.

5.  Chiropractic:  Regular chiropractic adjustments offer a great alternative to those dealing with both acute and chronic pain.  Furthermore, chiropractic can help optimize your overall health and well-being. It can have amazing far-reaching effects throughout your body, whether you are a newborn or later in your life.  Regular spinal check-ups are necessary for optimal results.

In chiropractic we have a saying that goes "chiropractic first, drugs second, surgery last."  This is never more true when it comes to potent prescription medication.  Seek out various healthy alternatives for pain prior to resorting to dangerous narcotics.  This will help you continue to...

LIVE well. BE well.