Pain killers – do they really work?

23 November 2016

Man with head pains Willow Chiropractic

There are two very well-known pain medications that find their way into our homes; paracetamol and ibuprofen. These work in different ways to help manage pain, paracetamol by interfering with the pain pathway, and ibuprofen by acting as an anti-inflammatory.

It’s very easy to open your handbag or bathroom cabinet and reach for one of these pain killers but are they actually helping with the pain? And what else are they doing to your body?

Pain killers proved no better than a placebo

There has been a lot of research into pain killers relating to back pain, little has provided any significant results. Recently, the BBC showed a documentary called ‘The doctor who gave up drugs’, a documentary in which a doctor documented a woman’s journey of chronic shoulder pain.

The woman, Wendy, had been taking a cocktail of painkillers every day for 20 years! The Doctor came up with an experiment to show Wendy that the cocktail she’d been taking simply was not working.

He rationed her tablets to ‘safe’ amounts; some of the pills she took contained pain killers and others just contained white powder, a placebo. Wendy was then asked to keep a pain diary for two weeks scaling her pain from 1-10 on a chart at certain times of the day.

The results were shocking. They showed that the pain killers were making no difference whatsoever to the pain that Wendy was feeling, in fact, they produced the exact same results as the placebos she was taking! Imagine how she must have felt. Moreover, over long periods of time pain killers can lead to terrible side effects, such as issues with digestion, liver and kidneys.

Chiropractic – a far better option

Chiropractic treatment offers a far better option to taking pain killers; let me explain why. Imagine your body as an iceberg. The tip showing above the water is your pain; the hidden underside of the iceberg is the cause of problem. Painkillers only treat the tip of the iceberg while chiropractic treats the underlying causes of the pain.It addresses the problem at the source, looking at the bigger picture, rather than just masking symptoms.

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