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Why Pain Killers Are Bound to Hurt You

For the last couple of months, there have been days where Jessica’s world would just have to go on hold. The crushing pain and pressure of a migraine headache would render the possibility of any light or sound in her life just impossible to contemplate. She had witnessed firsthand how her mother struggled to cope with the same affliction all her life and there was no way she was going to be a part of history repeating itself if she could help it. So Jessica sought help…

The Rebound Effect of painkillers can leave you in more pain

The Rebound Effect of painkillers can leave you in more pain

She summoned all of her strength and somehow managed to get to her local doctor and was prescribed a course of painkillers. She took them without question. Only those who have experienced migraine headaches themselves can truly appreciate her plight. When you are in the midst of a migraine you will do ANYTHING for relief.

Frustratingly the relief was not as she hoped for… What was initially an occasional day of hell had now descended into a blanket of a constant aching fog. It was there virtually every day. It seemed to even hurt to think. All she wanted to do was sleep in an effort to escape the pain. Unfortunately, she would invariably wake up feeling worse. Normal daily activities had become a struggle. Jessica had become a shell of her normal self.

The reality is that Jessica is now dealing with a common scenario called the “rebound effect” of pain-killing medications. As blogger, James Clear correctly points out (http://jamesclear.com/feedback-loops)

The human body is governed by a wide range of feedback loops. These systems maintain a careful balance of everything from the amount of water in your cells to the amount of hormones released into your bloodstream. 

Your body’s feedback loops are designed to maintain your current state of balance called homeostasis. So when pain-killing drugs suppress pain-killing signals, these feedback loops compensate by increasing the sensitivity of pain nerves.

That means that if you are in the habit of taking pain-killing drugs more than x2/week the chances are that you will become more sensitive to pain leading to the “rebound effect”. This begins a downward spiral of requiring more and stronger painkillers to have the same effect. In the same way, drug addicts continually require more drugs to get the same high.

The only way out is to wean yourself off of the pain-killing drug dependency. Unfortunately, this will lead to more drug withdrawal headaches but once you are over that hurdle what’s next? What about the pain?

You may want to consider a new way of looking at pain. You may want to try at looking at pain as valuable feedback that shouldn’t be suppressed but instead used to your advantage.

How can you use pain to your advantage?

By answering this question…

“If this pain was giving you feedback for your ultimate good what could it be saying to you?”

You may then find that your pain could help you to identify and change lifestyle behaviours that may play a role in the cause and prevention of your pain.

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