The Epidemic of Chronic Pain, Drug Addiction and Death
More people are suffering with chronic pain than ever before, more than 30% of Americans. That is more than 116 million individuals. This is in spite of the fact that Americans are now swallowing more pain drugs than ever before! Dangerous drugs such as NSAIDs and opioids. Possibly you are one of them? This crisis is leading to an epidemic of addiction to prescription painkillers causing death and destruction.
How It Began and How Bad Is It
It started somewhere in the mid-1990s when the medical profession decided to treat pain as a disease itself. Pain became the new fifth vital sign in medicine. With this shift in thinking and the advent of new highly profitable pain medications the misguided race was on to “treat” pain with these highly addictive drugs and not the underlying causes. More on this later.
How bad is this opioid problem getting? A new federal study shows the incredible statistic that in 2015 more than one out of three average Americans took a legitimately prescribed opioid like OxyContin or Percocet. This despite the growing concerns that these medicines are promoting widespread addiction and overdose deaths. We all understand the horrors and dangers of heroin addiction; today 4 out of 5 heroin addicts were first hooked on prescription opioid painkillers.
Many Americans try to alleviate chronic pain and stay off the opiates by using popular over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs medications. Medications such as aspirin, Advil, Motrin, Aleve (naproxen) and Celebrex, a prescription pain reliever. These medications are extremely hard on your gastrointestinal system and cardiovascular system. Some experts are questioning whether more individuals die from NSAIDs than opiates.
As a society we need to wake up to the fact more people now die from their prescription pain medications then die in car crashes or in gun violence! Could you or loved one be next? Why not act now before it’s too late, continue reading to find out how?
Why Are We Still in Pain?
Despite all these powerful drugs, one-third of the country is still in chronic pain. Why is this? First, these drugs do nothing to treat the underlying causes of chronic pain conditions. They may numb your brain to the pain, but they do not treat the underlying nutritional and metabolic issues that led to the chronic inflammation causing your pain.
Second, the vast majority of doctors and even specialists do not know how to properly find the underlying neurometabolic causes of chronic pain disorders nor how to treat them without using drugs. Let’s be clear here, we are not talking about chronic pain caused by severe trauma, cancer and other pathological conditions. We’re talking about chronic pain generated from chronic inflammation of musculoskeletal origins-muscle and joint pain.
Inflammation: Not Necessarily the Bad Guy
All healing in your body actually begins with the much-feared inflammatory response, a response we try to stop in the U.S. by swallowing 30 billion NSAIDs tablets each year. This inflammatory response allows us to fight off infections, defeat cancerous cells, and heal tissues. This inflammatory or healing response usually leaves behind non-painful healthy tissue, most tissues heal within six weeks.
However, because of certain dietary, lifestyle and environmental factors this healing response can turn into chronic low-grade inflammation in the body. Research has shown that chronic low-grade inflammation cannot be healed by taking anti-inflammatory drugs. Chronic inflammation can smolder in your tissues for years causing the aches, pains and arthritis that plague your life.
The 4 R Approach to Healing Chronic Pain
I’ve written an entire book and numerous articles in Tidbits on how chronic pain develops and how we heal it. There are no simple, quick answers for chronic pain, no pills or physical techniques to take it all away instantly. You must change your life: how you eat, how you move and how you think. In my book Why We Hurt, and my clinic, I try to get my patients to realize that they need to take a 4 R Approach: REMOVE, REPLENISH, RESTORE AND REPAIR.
First, we must REMOVE any issues identified on in-depth laboratory and physical examination that are causing your body harm. For example, issues such as dietary imbalances, specific vitamin/mineral deficiencies, gastrointestinal microbe imbalances, toxic metals or chemicals, hormonal imbalances, myofascial trigger points and muscular imbalances.
Then with the second R we need to RESTORE any imbalances and REPLENISH any deficiencies in the body. This second and third R involves dietary changes and nutritional support based on your laboratory tests and examination. With the final R, corrective care must be given on an ongoing basis to help stimulate the body to move towards REPAIR. This third R for example involves myofascial therapies, acupuncture, and biofeedback for stress reduction.
I have helped thousands of individuals conquer their chronic pain. You can visit my website at painandbrainhealingcenter.com to hear their stories of recovery. This vital information to your health is covered in greater detail in my book “Why We Hurt” and in my FREE upcoming Why We Hurt and How We Heal! Workshops— 7 PM Wednesday, June 20th and Monday June 25th at the Pain and Brain Healing Center 1400 131st Ave NE Blaine. Call 763-862-7100 to register seating is limited.
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