Article Of The Week- December 4 -December 8 2017 - The Pain Killer Problem

The Pain Killer Problem               Article of the Week December 4 to 8

I've been reading a lot of news in the media about opioid addiction lately.  Opioids are a powerful class of painkilling drug that, when used properly can provide temporary relief, but when used improperly can lead to addiction, overdose and death.  Over 2800 Canadians lost their lives to prescription opioids in 2016 and hospital admissions for opioid overdose have increased by 70 percent in the last decade.  Some of the more common opioids include fentanyl, oxycodone and oxymorphone (morphine).

The reason this crisis is of particular interest to me is because the number one reason why people take an opioid for the first time is because they have back pain.  Back pain is one of the most common health complaints across the globe, and the number one cause of job disability.  Whenever someone takes a powerful and addictive drug for the first time to manage their pain, they never suspect that they will be one of the unfortunate ones who ends up addicted to the substance.

When painkillers are used as a first-line treatment, the long term outcome is never good.  Subluxations are regions of the spine that have been injured over time due to repetitive use, poor posture, sports or work injuries and day-to-day stress.  Subluxations are the #1 cause of back pain!  Subluxations cause inflammation and also put pressure on the nerve system.  Simply by reducing this pressure on the nerve system many of back pain sufferers could experience relief without pharmaceuticals.

Exercise is equally important.  A study published in October 2017 found that those people that regularly exercised had a 33% reduced risk of experiencing lower back pain.  On top of that, the severity and disability of lower back pain were also lower in people who exercised.  Exercise is defined as stretching, strengthening or aerobic (walking, jogging, cycling, swimming) activity performed 2-3 times per week.  For more information on the study, you can go to the following link:

If you are out of the habit of performing lower back strengthening and stretching exercises I would recommend spending 10 minutes a day at least 3 days a week to reduce the odds of experiencing lower back pain in the future.  If you need suggestions, please ask the girls for a lower back stretch sheet.  My favourite lower back strengthening exercise is the plank which I wrote about in my article of the week a few weeks ago.

In addition, spend as little time sitting as possible, and stand, walk or move whenever you can.  Chronic sitting is also a recipe for a sore back.  Equally important is working on your postural corrective exercises such as your denneroll.  Simply by getting your body more aligned over your centre of gravity will reduce stress on your whole spine.

It's almost the New Year, and I find that this is a perfect time to start incorporating more movement into your day-to-day activity.  Don't wait until January 1st!  While others are back-sliding through the holidays, you could be entering the New Year with momentum!  And if you know anyone who is currently taking painkillers, make sure you take advantage of this last week to send them a Gift of Health.

Yours in Health,

Dr. Tim

Grace Chiropractic – 1-3230 Monarch Drive – 705-323-9100 –

Upcoming Closures: Monday December 11 2017 – Afternoon only 


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