By Clive Lindley-Jones | November 24, 2009 4:35 pm
Have you taken a painkiller recently?
When was the last time you or someone you know well reached for a painkiller? It is now a century since a Swiss phamacist first isolated the drug we all know as aspirin. Since then, a whole host of other clever, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have come on the market and helped many out of misery and made others very rich. But perhaps you did not know that on average each day in the UK around six people die from the use of these NSAIDs - over 2000 a year from these drugs alone.
While they can be a great boon to some, increasingly scientists and legislators have growing concerns about their overuse. It is suspected that until they were limited in the number you could buy at one time over the counter, many people probably died, not always in attempted sucides, but purely because they had not realised the maximum safe dosage of these powerful drugs we sometimes reach for when pain gets too much.
Over the three decades I have been an osteopath, I have noticed that the number one factor that drives people to my door is PAIN. For over thirty years, day in day out, I have been applying my skills to help resolve the puzzle of pain. I like to think we are, to paraphrase a younger Tony Blair, tough on pain and tough on the causes of pain!
It is this later skill, finding the causes of pain, that marks us out from many average visits to GPs or even some overworked physiotherapists. Too often the pain is in one place, but the cause is actually in another. Knowing both how all these things connect up and affect each other and having the means to correct them is part of our job.
For example, I recently saw someone who was having Achilles tendon pain. Surprisingly, in her case, the weakness in the muscles of her ankles stemmed, not from a lack of gym visits, but from her neck via an indirect connection from the nervous system. Once that was in balance again, we immediately saw the muscles in her ankles 'switch on' and again support the area as they should do.
One of the great advantages of the knowledge that Manual Muscle Testing, as used in Applied Kinesiology can give the skilled clinician is seeing exactly what is supporting you and what is not. Often this is behind that nagging pain for which you started taking those painkillers. One day this knowledge will be much more mainstream and everyone will have access to such advanced care, but why wait for the Big Pharma controlled health service to catch up?
Next time you or someone you know keeps popping those pills, consider that there might be a better way available. We would be happy to offer a free 10 min consultation to talk any problem through with your friends and family if they are unsure what to do for the best.
Let's get a bit tougher on the causes of pain instead of downing those pills next time we feel the gremlin of pain creeping up on us again.