In the Sutton Guardian this week it was reported that local man Jason King (36) died after taking an overdose of painkillers for his neck pain, an inquest at Croydon Coroner’s Court heard. Jason had been prescribed Tramadol for long standing neck pain which was stopping him from working as a gardener.
This highlights the mistake of taking pain relief as a treatment for neck pain. There is a danger in thinking that pain relief can cure an injury, but in fact all it does is remove the symptoms. This then can lead to further damage to the neck as people are lulled into a false sense of security as they have no symptoms. I suspect this was the case here and as his symptoms worsened, his only solution was to increase his pain relief, which led to a vicious circle.
Osteopathic treatment in these situations treat the injury and offers a solution to spinal injuries, rather than just disguising them with pain relief.
Here at Avenue Osteopathic Practice all patients get a full assessment and diagnosis at their first appointment, and only then are advised whether osteopathy would be able to help them, or if they need to be referred back to their GP, or other practitioner for further investigation; e.g. MRI scan or x-ray.
At Avenue Osteopathic Practice we never advise patients to take pain relief before taking part in high-impact activities or physical work. This is because without the feedback from your body’s nervous system, it is easy to over-use and re-damage injured muscles and ligaments.
Although it is always better not to take drugs, as they all have side effects (as the tragic events above prove), they can be useful in some circumstances. lf muscle pain is preventing you from sleeping, this can have a serious effect on your whole life, and it is worth a compromise of the side effects of the pain-killers for a good nights sleep.
Pain-killing drugs can sometimes counteract the effectiveness of other medication you may be taking, and in some cases can be very harmful. Therefore it is important to check with your Doctor or Pharmacist as to whether they are appropriate, or indeed safe.
Some inflammatory conditions will benefit from NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) but again, it must be remembered that they may reduce inflammation but not the cause of the inflammation. Also they can cause stomach problems in some cases.