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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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January 2020 (Vol. 4 Issue 11)

Disability doesn’t improve on opioid painkillers
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

Disability doesn’t improve on opioid painkillers image

Opioids are powerful painkillers—but if the pain, such as from a trapped nerve, is stopping you from walking, look for another option. The painkillers—which include morphine, codeine and Tylenol—won’t help improve physical functioning.

The opioids won’t get you back on your feet, unlike other painkillers that also improve disability and physical abilities such as walking.

Being able to move again is an essential element of quality of life, and although opioids do relieve pain, other options should be considered, say researchers from the University of Alberta.

They reviewed the progress of 789 patients with neuropathic pain, but those who were prescribed an opioid reported no improvements in their disability compared to others who were taking a different painkiller over the course of a year.

“Instead of walking until you reach your pain limit, I tell patients to walk until they are at 50 per cent of their tolerance; walk until the pain gets too bad. Each week, walking time is gradually increased. Over time, this tolerance will slowly increase and so will physical function,” said Prof Geoff Bostick, the lead researcher and an expert on pain management.


(Source: University of Alberta website)

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