Monday, September 12, 2016

When Painkillers Cause Pain

        According to the journal Neurology, daily or near-daily use of analgesics is associated with chronic (long term) headaches, especially chronic migraine headaches, and neck pain and lower back pain.  In this study of 65,000 individuals analgesics (painkillers) were defined as over-the-counter or prescription.  Use of analgesics daily or almost daily for one month or more in the previous 12 months constituted "overuse."

        The study showed that individuals who took analgesics on a daily basis for 1 to 3 months were 2.9 times more likely to have chronic migraine headaches.  If a migraine sufferer uses analgesics daily for more than 6 months their risk of chronic migraines increases to 20.6 times.  In non-migraine headaches analgesic use on a daily basis for 1 to 3 months increased chronic headache pain 2.6 times; for 6 months, 9.5 times.  Concerning chronic neck and low back pain, taking analgesics daily for 1 to 3 months doubles the likelihood of chronic pain.  Using analgesics daily for more than 6 months increased the likelihood of chronic neck and low back pain 3.5 times.

        The authors of this study concluded: "The high number of individuals with analgesic overuse has important clinical implications, and physicians should be aware of the potential risk of analgesic overuse among those with chronic pain, especially those with migraine."  This article points out that the use of long term analgesics, the medicine our society commonly uses to relieve migraine headache, non-migraine headache, neck pain or lower back pain is increasing the likelihood of the pain it is supposedly relieving.

Thatcher Chiropractic is located at 3535 American Drive in Colorado Springs, Colorado 80917 near the intersection at Austin Bluffs Parkway and Academy Boulevard.  For more information you can visit our website at  If you have additional questions or wish to schedule an appointment, please feel free to contact us by phone.  You can reach us at (719) 574-3700.

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