Popular over-the-counter painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and steroids may offer short-term relief, but may leave users with long-term chronic pain or conditions.
A new study from McGill University has found that inflammation is a crucial part of healing due to neutrophils, a white blood cell that helps fight infection and paves the way for tissue repair. When these neutrophils were blocked in mice with anti-inflammatories and steroids, they experienced prolonged pain of up to ten times the normal duration. The study determined that interference with neutrophils could lead to dangerous outcomes, including a higher risk of developing chronic pain.
“Inflammation is a normal part of healing and when this inflammation is blocked, healing is interrupted,” says Toula Glass, NP. “The healing process is complex and it’s important to think about how best to get relief without causing longer term impact.”
Depending on the type of pain you’re experiencing, there are a number of low-risk relief options that don’t require medication. These include topical ointments, exercise therapy, acupuncture, massage, heat, and cooling. A heating pad or hot bath can relax and loosen tight muscles and increase blood flow to an injury. An ice pack can be used to reduce swelling, as it causes blood vessels to constrict.
“Consult your provider before starting any pain medication to determine which treatment is best for you,” says Glass.
To learn more about the risks and benefits of pain medication or to find a doctor, visit Navarro-Docs.com or call 903-872-DOCS.
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About Navarro Regional Hospital
Navarro Regional Hospital is your community health care provider. We are a licensed 162-bed acute care facility with inpatient and outpatient care, diagnostic imaging, emergency department, medical and surgical care. We offer Cardiac Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy and Speech Therapy, Ambulatory Surgery Center, 3D Mammography and 64 Slice CT Scan. We offer a special procedures room for interventional radiology procedures and cardiac catheterizations. Navarro Regional is an accredited facility for primary chest pain and stroke.