Is Your Pain Medicine Increasing Your Risk for Death?

Arthritis Doctor Shawnee KS

The arthritis epidemic continues and the disease and death associated with it continue as well. A conservative estimate is 54 million adults suffer from arthritis and that rate is expected to increase to 78 million by 2040. A primary, first-line therapy in the conventional medical model is the use of NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) drugs and when those fail, a “quasi” narcotic called Tramadol is offered. Tramadol was once thought to be as effective in treating pain as narcotics, but less addictive. As the years of Tramadol use continue, the addictive nature has been uncovered and it is contributing to an increased risk of death.

A recent study highlights and uncovers the deadly risks of Tramadol. In 89,000 arthritis patients, there was twice the risk of death from Tramadol than NSAIDS. In the study cohort, there were more deaths from Tramadol than the other pain medications available to study participants. The initial studies done on Tramadol were using an injectable form, but the most common use is in pill form which has turned out to be much more potent and more addictive. It takes time for the differences in clinical trials and real life to emerge. It was long held by the FDA that Tramadol was not widely abused, therefore it was left as an unscheduled drug. This means it was easier to prescribe and easier to obtain Tramadol for pain. By 2013 there were 45 million people using Tramadol with adverse reactions increasing per emergency room reports. It was not until 2014 that Tramadol became a scheduled narcotic limiting its use due to the addictive nature. Once again the gap between real life application and clinical use of Tramadol became evident as the rate of addiction to Tramadol climbed.

The alternative in most conventional medicine is to manage pain as best as possible with the use of NSAIDS. However, NSAIDS  increase the risk of stress fractures, can double the progression of arthritis, increase the risk of sudden death heart attack, and GI bleed, and infertility in males. In case you are not familiar with what medications are NSAIDS, these are the most common: Aspirin, Celebrex, Motrin, Advil, Aleve (Naproxen). These medications are taken by thousands of adults even multiple times daily. Because they are so common, the risks are often overlooked.

Pain medications that increase the risk of death and sudden tragic medical events are not the way to treat your pain. The LifeWorks team has years of experience naturally treating pain without risky medications. Through a comprehensive assessment of your pain, mobility, and health history, we work with your health goals to get you out of pain fast and keep you out of pain. Understanding why your pain is occurring and beginning to correct the underlying cause of your pain is where we excel.

Tools we use to treat pain include chiropractic adjustments, nerve pain protocols, regenerative therapy, laser light therapy, natural pain management with essential oils, and rehab therapy to calm and correct underlying improper movements. Because we have a variety of tools in our healing tool kit, we can develop a personalized plan for your pain to get you well, keep you safe, and get you back the health you need for the life you want.

To learn more about these treatments, please call LifeWorks Integrative Health to schedule an appointment with an arthritis doctor Shawnee KS patients recommend.