If you’re an active person that exercises a lot or plays lots of sports, injuries are part and parcel of your life. The more you exert yourself, the greater risk there is of getting an injury. Even if you try extra hard to be cautious, accidents can happen that cause you to get hurt.
While being injured in itself is a problem, recovering from that injury is the real issue. The process of recovery can be long, and it takes its toll on all aspects of our health. We’re unable to be as active as we’d like to be, which can result in a little bit of weight gain as we can’t burn calories. But, the main issue is dealing with pain during the recovery process. A lot of injuries can be extremely painful for a long time. Therefore, simple tasks are made harder because of the presence of pain. This can really take its toll, and we’re left looking for solutions to relieve this pain.
Anyone that’s suffered an injury will know there’s a very generic course of action in the recovery process. You’re told to rest and take a course of painkillers until the pain gets manageable. Unfortunately, this opens up a whole new realm of problems revolving around the painkillers.
This brings us onto the main point of today’s post; to look at the unhealthy dependence on painkillers when you’re injured. Too many of us rely on them to help us get better, but I’m here to tell you why that’s wrong. Underneath this paragraph, you will see my thoughts on the matter as well as my tips for recovering from an injury without relying on painkillers all the time.
Painkillers Can Do More Harm Than Good
I think there’s an issue with many people in that we think something is good for us if a doctor gives it to us. If a doctor prescribes drugs to counter pain, we automatically think they’re the best thing in the world and will magically make us better.
This isn’t the case, most of the time doctors are very explicit in saying that painkillers should only be taken when you’re in severe pain. If you’ve got a few aches or some slight pain, you don’t need to take heavy painkillers. They should only be taken when you’re unable to do anything because the pain is so bad.
In truth, painkillers can do way more harm than good. Allow me to explain this in the next few points:
Painkillers Are Addictive
One of the major problems with painkillers is that they can be addictive. It starts with just a couple to mask your pain, then before you know it you’re calling up a drug addiction hotline because you keep taking them even after your injury has subsided. The problem is that they make you feel better – which obviously sounds weird because surely that’s a good thing?! Okay, so, more accurately; they make you feel better, temporarily. So, when the feeling subsides, what do you do? You try and recreate the feeling of painlessness and take more pills. You can see how easy it is for someone to fall into an addictive trap, particularly if they have a long-term injury and are out for months. An addiction to painkillers is obviously bad as there’s the risk of overdosing as well as damaging your organs with a high concentration of a particular drug.
Painkillers Harm Your Organs
As I just mentioned, painkillers can damage your organs when you take them for long periods. This is why doctors only prescribe them for a set time, and you should stop after that time is up. Unfortunately, there’s nothing stopping someone from going and getting regular pain killer meds from a pharmacy. This is where people become reliant on painkillers and take them for weeks or months on end. Even things like paracetamol and ibuprofen can be harmful when taken for too long. Specifically, they can damage your stomach and cause issues such as ulcers, etc. There are no ifs or buts, if you take painkillers for a long time, they’ll harm the rest of your body.
Painkillers Have Side Effects
As well as damaging your organs with persistent use, a lot of painkillers can have side effects. So, you may feel pain-free, but you could substitute the feeling of pain for something else. These side effects can trouble you in the short term, or they could affect you in the long term. Plus, for women, you’ve got issues with painkillers and side effects during your period. They can mess things up there and throw your cycle off course.
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As you can see, painkillers can be very harmful. What’s more, the only good thing they do is a temporary fix. Let’s say you injure yourself while running and break your ankle. You’re in a lot of pain and take painkillers to ease it. While the drugs will kick in and give you some hours without pain, it won’t magically fix your ankle.
This is the main reason I believe we shouldn’t rely on painkillers. At the end of the day, they won’t help you solve your injury problem. Instead, we should focus on ways to recover from the injury and ensure we never have to deal with the pain again. This includes getting surgery, doing physiotherapy, getting massages, and so on. These things will tackle the injury directly and help you recover properly and live a pain-free life.
It may seem like I’m saying you should avoid painkillers at all costs, but that’s not the case. You can still take them when you’re in excruciating pain, and the pain is stopping you from doing things. But, make sure you only take the prescribed course and that you don’t overdo it. Stick to the instructions and make sure you aren’t solely reliant on them. When you become reliant, that’s when all those negative and harmful things come into play that I spoke about earlier.
To sum up, if you’re recovering from an injury, only use painkillers as a last resort and put more of your focus on rest and rehabilitation.