Back pain pills seem like an easy solution to the suffering experienced by many patients due to chronic symptomology. Persistent pain is a trial to endure and the misery caused by chronic and acute back pain can make a person wish they were never born. Regardless, most patients are not aware of the perils associated with prescription drugs often given for back pain relief. Even worse, the drugs are merely symptomatic treatment and do nothing whatsoever to cure the underlying cause of the pain.
This essay details some facts that patients need to know before taking any pain medications long-term. These facts should have been provided by the doctor or pharmacist, but in our experience are sadly lacking from patient education efforts.
The human cost of using these powerful pain management drugs is incalculable. There are just so many examples of how drugs have brought medicine one step forward and one hundred steps backwards:
Addiction: Many pain relief drugs create dependency issues. Patients are often poorly monitored by doctors and treated with more drugs if they become addicted. It is a vicious cycle.
Health risks: Many pain drugs have more side effects than benefits. Some can cause permanent damage or even death.
Huge economic cost: Brand name drugs are very expensive and generics are not far behind. Insurance often only pays for a percentage, leaving the patient to pick up the rest of the tab. Even when insurance does pay, everyone’s policy premiums go up, so in the long run, we all pay regardless.
Perpetuation of the pain: Symptomatic treatment does nothing to cure the underlying causative condition. This leads to patients having to stay involved in pharmaceutical treatment for a long time... sometimes forever.
Gateway phenomenon: Some people who take powerful pain killers for a long time are more likely to get involved with illegal drugs and illicit activity, if they are cut off from their prescription meds. Popular substitutes are heroin, “downers” or black market drugs.
The pharmaceutical sector is the most powerful and influential force in the entire healthcare industry. Huge corporations produce a seemingly endless array of drugs which target every possible source of pain. These same companies also are the main economic motivators of medical science.
Drug companies pay for research.
Drug companies make deals with insurance carriers.
Drug companies give incentives to doctors who prescribe their products.
Drug companies are the end of the line when it comes to who's who in the medical industry.
All this power has paid off huge in terms of profits for all involved. The only ones who have suffered are, of course, the patients.
Yes, the drugs have helped to relieve some of their pain, but at what price?
I have experienced decades of unbelievably torturous agony, so I certainly have both sympathy and empathy for those who are in constant severe pain. I also recognize that it is simply part of our culture that most patients want a quick fix. Doctors love this idea, since writing a prescription is the easiest and most profitable way to practice medicine. I wish I could make $300 for talking to a patient for 10 minutes and signing a prescription. At that pay rate, the high cost of medical school starts to sound like a real bargain after all. Please learn the facts about your pain. Drugs will not cure you. Drugs will simply complicate and prolong your suffering.
There are many other options for all natural pain relief and many holistic healthcare providers. You do not need to poison your body with powerful drugs just to continue functioning with back pain. Some possible substitutes for effective pain management include acupuncture, massage, hydrotherapy, reiki, meditation, chiropractic and TENS.
You might even consider investigating alternative medicine for back pain using purely psychological methods which have no risks whatsoever.