When it comes to pain relief, nearly every household will have the same drugs for pain relief in their medicine cabinet. For those who may need to seek occasional relief from mild to moderate pain, the thought of taking a little paracetamol may not seem like a big deal. It’s one of those common pain relievers that most people think twice about the possible side effects that may occur. They reason that they only need to take the medicine occasionally so they needn’t worry about any major risk factors.
The fact is that most people can take paracetamol and never experience any problems. However, when you’re dealing with long-term pain relief, there are many more problems that must be taken into consideration. According to an article posted in the Telegraph: “Long-term use of paracetamol has been linked to an increased risk of gastrointestinal problems, high blood pressure and stroke, researchers have found. Although the risk remains small, doctors should consider advising their patients on alternative painkillers to be taken over the long-term.”
The negative results of several studies on the effects of paracetamol lead researchers to conclude that the true risk of taking this commonly used drug was much higher than many had previously thought. The drug was linked with a higher risk of cardiovascular problems, gastrointestinal issues among other things.
Possible Side Effects
Many medical professionals strongly recommend that patients consult with a healthcare professional before they start out on a long-term regimen of paracetamol. Its active ingredient, acetaminophen, has been known to cause numerous side effects that have the potential of becoming so severe they could actually require medical attention.
These side effects can vary greatly depending on the patient; they could experience anything from a low-grade fever accompanied by nausea, stomach pain or a loss of appetite. Some patients even report cases of jaundice as a possible reaction to the drug. While this is not an exhaustive list of side effects it can give you a clear indication that paracetamol can actually cause more harm to one’s health than most people may realize. However, there is a drug free alternative to paracetamol that many people are reporting has great results.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Simulator (TENS)
The Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Simulator or TENS as some people call it is an alternative means of pain relief that has been very effective in helping patients who have to deal with their long-term pain. It consists of a small battery operated device that has leads connecting to electrodes, which are placed on the skin with self-adhesive pads. Once the electrodes are attached and the machine is switched on, tiny electrical impulses are sent to the affected area of the body. There’ll be a tingling sensation as the electrodes stimulate the nerves in the painful area and sends messages to the brain that “block or scramble” the normal pain signals. Some believe that the electrical nerve stimulation can actually help the body to release more endorphins, a natural painkiller, into the body.
People have found many ways a TENS unit can help them to relieve their pain. According to WebMD: “They use it most often to treat muscle, joint, or bone problems that occur with illnesses such as osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, or for conditions such as low back pain, neck pain, tendinitis, or bursitis. People have used TENS to treat sudden (acute) pain, such as labor pain, and long-lasting (chronic) pain, such as cancer.”
The reports of positive results from using a TENS unit as an alternative to paracetamol vary from one person to another but offer the patient a non-invasive and non-toxic alternative to drugs.
Is It Safe?
The TENS therapy is considered to be safe in most cases as long as it is used properly. Some patients may need to use extra care if they suffer from skin allergies, have a pacemaker, or are pregnant. Working with your doctor on finding the right intensity of electrical current can help with many of the issues that many people may have with a TENS unit. According to Healthline.com: “Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may result in instant or prolonged pain relief. Through the release of endorphins and the control of nerves, TENS sends relief directly to the site of pain. Some patients experience permanent pain relief after repeated sessions with a TENS unit.”
As we gain a better understanding of the chemical reactions to many of the drugs that we have commonly thought as safe, many of us are compelled to look for alternative solutions that are either non-toxic or non-invasive to our bodies and overall health. More and more patients are being advised to ask more questions about the treatments that they are getting and the possible negative impact they may have on their body. It simply makes more sense for one to use a TENS unit as a non-invasive and non-toxic alternative to pain relief that can yield highly effective results without the negative side-effects that drugs may have.