How Over-the-Counter Pain Medications Can Be Bad

Treat the Condition, not the Symptom

A 2005 study, detailed in 2011 by Consumer Reports and covered in turn by the Washington Post, explores the overuse in the United States of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs – such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen – are the active ingredients in common over-the-counter pain medications.

Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and other over-the-counter medications are often used to provide pain relief. Long-lasting pain management, though, means treating the condition rather than treating its symptoms via overuse of these drugs. Chronic pain needs to be approached at its root – what is causing the pain – to effect real recovery and sustainable alleviation of knee pain, back pain, nerve pain, or headaches. An integrative combination of Western medical techniques, chiropractic care, and physical therapy allows patients to stop masking pain and return to a fulfilling, more functional lifestyle.

NSAID Overuse Statistics

NSAIDs are designed for acute treatment of arthritis, fevers, and other physical pain. However, they are used by many to treat chronic pain. In fact, The Consumer Reports piece “Best Buy Drugs” (1) reveals that in 2011, 70 million prescriptions were being filled annually for this type of medication. That figure doesn’t even account for over-the-counter pain relief medications. What is more disconcerting is that one in four people who use over-the-counter solutions to treat their pain on a daily basis take higher than the recommended dosage.

Overuse of these medications can be dangerous. Pain relief bottles typically include language instructing that use for more than ten days at a time should be overseen by a physician. Side effects from prolonged or regular use of NSAIDs include damage to the kidneys and stomach ulcers. According to the Post article “NSAIDS Naproxen Pain Relievers” (2) between 5 and 10 percent of NSAID users experience bleeding or ulcers each year.

A Customized Pain Management Program

We are all looking for that quick fix, but a well-planned pain management care program allows a broad spectrum of treatment options that work. Knee pain, back pain, and headaches do not need to be treated with over-the-counter medications. Proper diagnosis paves the way for a long-term solution. It can identify the underlying causes of pain and allow for the creation of a proper pain management plan with integration of traditional Western medicinal intervention, chiropractic treatment, and physical therapy.

At the Atlanta Medical Clinic, our goal is sustained relief of pain in each of our patients. We find that a tailored treatment program works best to meet the needs of every individual who entrusts us for care. If you are interested in managing your pain with an integrative approach, call us now to set up a consultation with a physician who can help set you on the road to recovery.








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April 2, 2020