To live means to suffer. In Buddhism it is the first noble truth. Somewhere down the line self-medication became a much more realistic life choice than enlightenment. Below, the Doctor reminds us of the pain that is healthy, the pain that can be medicated, and the pain we just need to deal with.
According to an article published in WebMD Health News, Vicodin was the most prescribed medication in 2010 at 131.2 million prescriptions throughout the year. This figure is quite staggering when you consider the fact that this medication is a controlled narcotic that should be prescribed for acute pain only. Our country appears to be in a lot of pain, it goes without saying. Pain killers, however, were never meant to be taken habitually and, in fact, a lifetime of improper utilization of these drugs may wreak havoc upon the body.
As a pharmacist, I see this trend in prescribing on a daily basis, however, my concern grew even more after viewing a television commercial for a product called Celebrex, an anti-inflammatory drug used to manage chronic pain and arthritis. Unlike the common Big Pharma commercial that promises the moon and then ends with a minute long breakdown of all debilitating side effects, this one actually made some sense.
The advertisement opens up with an elderly woman jumping on her bicycle and continues to follow her as she rides around on dirt country roads in perfect spring weather. A voice comes over the spot and speaks of Celebrex’s ability to get patients up and going on with their life. As the commercial fades out with the woman riding off over the peak I mutter to myself, “Now this is what it’s all about.”
What surprised me about the statements made in this ad was the fact that the company seemed genuinely interested with getting those in pain back in motion, which is exactly the point. Typically pain killers are not meant to supplement a sedentary lifestyle; on the contrary they should be utilized as a temporary band-aid until the source of the pain can be managed. Rarely do we find cause to use chronic pain therapy as a daily resolve, these situations would include end of life support and inoperable pain management. Pain killers should play a role as a means to an end only in all other cases, either offering the patient a needed relief in order to continue participating in physical therapy, training, or operation prep. In general, time spent on these medications should be relatively short lived in order to avoid permanent damage due to side effects.
Many of these medications can have irreversible effects on the liver, kidneys, and stomach. The majority of pain killers are metabolized through the liver and long periods of this processing will cause a strain on the organ. Even overutilization of over-the-counter products, such as Aleve (naproxen) and Tylenol (acetaminophen) can cause harm. These medications should not be taken in doses above recommendation, and as little as a week straight of high doses could cause damage. Motrin (ibuprofen) is another OTC that can cause horrible side effects if taken in excess. Ibuprofen has been known to lead to ulcer development upon the stomach lining, as well as, excessive bleeding for those whom depend on the drug in an improper fashion.
As athletes and humans we will all be at the mercy of aches and pains due to merely participating in life, however, we need to be cognizant of the fact that pain killers at our reach can cause more hurt than help if an unhealthy relationship is built around them. If there is pain in our lives that we are able to control mentally or through proper mobilization and therapy, then that should always be our first option.
AMRAP 7 Minutes
-Immediately followed by-
Work up to (1) heavy Split Jerk
(7) Minute Limit
Max rep Stone to shoulder in (90) seconds.
Score total weight moved.
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