Chiropractor and Acupuncturist Chapel Hill, NC
25% of Americans living in the US have had back pain in the last three months. Many Americans turn to medications to temporarily relieve their symptoms and, hopefully, provide an opportunity for patients to use other, more lasting, and potentially healing treatments such as PT, chiropractic, acupuncture, and others. Trouble arises, however, when patients utilize medications to cover up symptoms without taking the necessary steps to improve their health in other ways. Drugs invariably have side effects, and some can cause lasting problems. At Acupractic Natural Healing Center, the chiropractic and acupuncture alternative medicine offices of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay in Chapel Hill, we strive to help patients reduce pain and heal naturally without drugs.
Mild over-the-counter analgesics such as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) include commonly used ibuprofen and naproxen (e.g., Motrin and Aleve). These block pain signals but do little to heal the cause of the inflammation that causes pain. Stronger NSAIDs available by prescription only include celecoxib, nabumetone, diclofenac, and meloxicam (e.g., Celebrex, Relafen, Mobic, and Voltaren). Patients should pay close attention to all medication instructions, especially regarding dosage – using any pain medication for more than a few months may lead to intolerance and dependence and increase health risks. For instance, NSAIDs can cause gastroinflammatory problems, liver damage, kidney damage, and ulcers. Avoid alcohol usage with these drugs. Another popular OTC analgesic drug is acetaminophen. While not an NSAID, this product has similar pain-relieving qualities and side effects.
Some patients apply NSAID cremes or patches over painful areas that work similarly to oral NSAIDs with similar side effects. Other pain patches and cremes that do not appear to have negative health consequences include eucalyptus oil, menthol, camphor, and capsaicin—similarly, the application of heat or cold benefits many.
Sometimes a person’s medical doctor will prescribe a muscle relaxant such as Flexeril, Soma, Baclofen, or Zanaflex to relax tight muscles following an acute injury temporarily. Taken for a short duration, medications may help a patient get back to life activities more readily. Side effects for muscle relaxants include drowsiness, and patients need to avoid operating heavy machinery while on these sedating muscle relaxers.
The next level of pain control for back pain is the opiate and other narcotics. These potent medications, such as codeine and morphine, effectively block the pain signals between injured areas and the brain. Used for the short term, these medications may help keep the pain level down so that patients can resume some function. Nonetheless, the side effects of opiates are numerous, and dependence is a huge problem confronting our nation. Additionally, some studies show that long-term usage of opiates makes the pain worse.
Chiropractic and Acupuncture Alternative Medicine
At our chiropractic and alternative medicine healthcare center, Dr. Oskardmay strives to help people get back to a pain-free lifestyle using non-drug methods, including chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage. Combined with electrostimulation, exercise, and other physical therapies, she helps patients heal on many levels to improve function, posture, and balance. She also discusses nutrition and herbal remedies to support healing at home.
For a non-drug approach to healthcare, contact the natural medicine office of Dr. Lisa Oskardmay, where, since 1995, she has helped Triangle residents of all ages get back to health. Call us at 919-929-1400 or visit us on the web at acudocnc.com 24 hours a day to learn more and schedule your appointment.