Can Painkillers Make Chronic Back Pain Worse?
Opiates are go-to drugs that many doctors will prescribe when a patient feels pain from surgery or chronic back pain. Though they are very effective at temporarily relieving pain, they may actually cause more of it in the long run according to Jianren Mao, a physician and pain researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Mao has studied the phenomena called opioid-induced hyperalgesia (OIH) for over 20 years; “At high doses, opioid painkillers actually seem to amplify pain by changing signaling in the central nervous system, making the body generally more sensitive to painful stimuli.” Too much of the drug can change the way our central nervous system signals pain.1
Though the condition can be debilitating, OIH’s existence makes sense. As anesthesiologist, Martin Angst explains; “Pain causes us to recoil from a hot stove and to stay off an injured leg while it heals.” With high doses of opioids masking pain, our bodies compensate by making our nerves more sensitive to pain, “your biology fights back and says, ‘I’m blindfolded to pain by all these chemicals. I need to be able to sense pain again.’”2
With a lower threshold for pain, the body requires increasing doses of an opiate to get the same effect. This may keep patients who need to taper off the drug dependent on it since it will be very difficult to manage pain without opiates. The key then would seem to be to target back pain at its source without painkillers so that your body can feel natural relief.
Natural Relief for Chronic Back Pain Sufferers
If you suffer from chronic back pain, ask your doctor about inversion as the alternative to painkillers or surgery. Decompression of the spine while inverting on a Teeter is a natural, relaxing form of back pain relief. It reduces pressure on the discs that can pinch nerves and cause radiating pain. Studies show that inversion can prevent the need for more extreme procedures to reduce back pain.
A published preliminary pilot study compared two groups of sciatic pain patients scheduled for lower back surgery. All patients received physical therapy while one group also used a Teeter on a regular basis for 30 days. At the completion of the study, those who used the Teeter showed a 70.5% reduction in the need for surgery! *
* Preliminary controlled study, 24 patients, various Teeter models used 3x/week for four weeks, up to six 2-minute inversions/session. “Inversion Therapy in Patients with Pure Single Level Discogenic Disease: a pilot randomized trial. Manjunath, et al. Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK.”
Teeter – The Natural Solution to Solve Back Pain
Inverting daily on a Teeter is one of the very few ways one can seek to reduce back pain naturally. Inverted traction takes the pressure off the spongy discs in your spine so you can decompress – this helps reduce pressure and back pain.
Want to see what other benefits inverting on a Teeter can bring? Check out our Benefits Page to see that chronic back pain relief is just one of the many ways Teeter can help you Feel Better, Move Better, Live Better!