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Chronic Pain Research Brings Relief to Those Who Need It

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia seem to be inextricably linked, yet, there is still much that is not understood about the relationship. Scientists are learning more about opioids and the effect they have on our bodies but so far, the evidence is still emerging. Chronic pain affects over 10 million Americans, making it the most prevalent cause of long-term illness. But what can we do about it?

One way to find better sleep at night with chronic pain would be to use opioid analgesics. These drugs, which are often prescribed for acute pain relief, may help people sleep better at night. The concern is that there could be some unintended consequences because opioids are highly addictive and potentially deadly. They can be used for a long time, however, before someone could come to realize the adverse effects.

For example, taking an opioid for chronic pain-relieving may make a person less likely to fall asleep on time during the day, which could lead to insomnia. It has been known for patients to experience daytime sleepiness, which is what is known as Sleep Debt. When someone experiences extreme levels of wakefulness, it could take them several hours or days to fall asleep. This could lead to the person staying up all night. Also, it has been known for patients to be irritable during the day and become less able to focus.

There is some evidence that opioids may also help to prevent chronic pain and injury, though there is no actual research to confirm this. One study found that taking codeine, which is the main ingredient in most prescription pain killers, could help to prevent accidents in drivers. The opioid might prevent the person from becoming distracted, thus increasing their reaction time when they encounter another car or obstacle on the road. Another study found that women who smoke had a lower chance of having acute pain after using prescription pain killers. This may be because smoking decreases pain thresholds.

Doctors are not entirely sure how opioids affect the brain since different opioids have different effects on the brain. Some opioids, such as morphine, act on the brain much like narcotics do, but they don't have the same side effects. For example, morphine does not alter perception, instead, it relaxes the muscles of the body that the drug is injected into. However, there is some evidence that chronic pain patients who took higher doses of morphine had a lower risk of stroke or heart attack.

Chronic pain patients should not depend on prescription pain killers to get a better night's sleep. They should look for alternative ways to obtain better pain relief. Since many prescription pain medications carry serious side effects, there is really no need to take them on a long-term basis. Research has shown that patients who receive natural treatments to control chronic pain had better pain relief at the end of the day than those who continued to take their medication.

Those with chronic pain may also benefit psychologically in the way of sleep. Patients who suffer from insomnia, severe depression, or anxiety may find that getting a good night's sleep improves their mood and enables them to better be able to manage the stressors in their life. For example, if a person is able to get a good night of sleep each night, they will be better able to handle the emotional issues that may come up as a result of physical pain.

It's important to remember that many of the prescription pain relief medications being used today are highly addictive. That means that once the initial relief of the symptoms is worn off, the patient will likely crave the medication even more. This can lead to a cycle of dependence that can be difficult to break. That is why chronic pain research is being done to develop non-addictive pain relief medications that can be used long-term. If you suffer from back pain or other types of chronic pain, it's important to check with your doctor about the best way to find a good long-term pain relief treatment plan.

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