By Jerry Del Priore
Painkiller abuse amongst women is a real problem in American society. Opioid drugs, such as OxyContin and Vicodin, that are mostly prescribed for the treatment of moderate to severe pain, are on the rise. And it’s not good, by any means.
In fact, every three minutes, a woman goes to the emergency room for prescription painkiller misuse or abuse (CDC Vital Signs, 2013).
Scientists who study painkiller misuse and/or abuse have discovered special issues related to hormones, menstrual cycle, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause that can affect women’s struggles with drug use.
Dire outcomes can be avoided, however. Sure, many times a medical professional must prescribe opioids for you to function. But there are other ways to lessen the likelihood of addiction.
I have comprised a list of six non-medical ways to help deal with pain before it spirals out of control.
Medication Delivery Timing Devices
For people who are prescribed pain opioids out of total necessity, it’s important to take the medication correctly.
In fact, long-term (two-three months) opioid use can cause short-term memory loss, interfering with proper medication management.
So, a device like the TimerCap proves vital in proper self-administrating of drugs. The TimerCap is a cap with a built-in digital timer that fits over most pill bottles and complies with all drug container regulations and displays the amount of time since you’ve last taken your prescription medication.
Every time you open up the cap, the timer stops counting and goes back to zero. When you lock it, the count restarts. Therefore, the entire sequence greatly reduces the chance of overdosing, and also acts a deterrent for people who might want to use your medication for nefarious reasons.
For the tech-savvy, there’s the iCap, a wireless Bluetooth cap for prescription pill bottles that works in conjunction with the Medisafe® app. It allows patients, as well as caregivers, to accurately track when pill bottles are opened to better determine whether medications are taken or missed.
“It’s the difference between guessing and knowing,” said Larry Twersky — CEO of TimerCap LLC, which is based out of Los Angles, California — of the proper use of TimerCap and iCap devices with opioids and other medications.
Note: For women whose pain and injury situations are less severe, there’s the natural route, instead of resulting to over-the-counter drugs such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol), which comes with a list of contraindications, according to drugs.com.
I sustained an Achilles’ Heel injury a little over a year ago. After little success by other means, I purchased an Arnica Relief Cream. And it worked wonders for my pain and functionality.
Arnica is an herb that can be taken homeopathically for sore throats, pain associated with oral surgery and insect bites, among other uses. For topical use, as I stated above, I find it great for pain relief related to bruises, swelling and sprains as a result of injury.
Bromelain and Papain (Proteolytic Enzymes)
Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes found in pineapples that digest proteins (proteolytic), important when it comes to breaking down dead tissue from an injury.
Although research shows varying results, bromelain may reduce inflammation, bruising, healing time, and pain after surgery and physical injuries.
Papain is a digestive enzyme found in Papaya, known for its protein digestion and reduction in joint swelling, important in osteoarthritis.
Note: It’s advisable to take 25-50 mg of Vitamin B6, which acts a natural diuretic, and will help the rid the body of dead tissue, speeding up healing time.
These priceless micronutrients aid with proper muscle contractions and help avoid spasms. Therefore, it’s best to take it at night, when it works best. And, to me, there seems to be more incidents of muscles spasms at night, when your body is at total rest, other than after intense workouts in sizzling heat, of course.
The minerals calcium and magnesium work best when taking together in a 2:1 ration, respectively. That is why the best Cal/Mag formulas feature both minerals together.
So, consuming food high in Cal/Mag and supplementing with 100:500 ratio of the chelated form of the minerals is vital.
Foods high in magnesium include: green leafy vegetables, nuts and beans.
Foods high in calcium include almonds, sardines with bones and low-fat, fortified milk.
The Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oils — EPA and DHA, which are found in cold-water fish and shellfish — are converted to resolvins, which create an anti-inflammatory effect in response to exercise-induced inflammation, according to research. This quickens recovery time, so you can hit that elliptical machine again in due course.
Yes, even when your muscles are tired an achy, light, active isolation stretching and movement of your limbs and extremities can increase circulation and help rid the body of lactic acid – a compound formed when glucose breaks down under certain conditions. Too much of lactic acid during intense exercise can cause a burning sensation in the muscles, leading to fatigue.
So, use or lose it, girl.
Until next time, get healthy, wealthy and fit (if you’re not already)!