Did you see the news?
Arthritis Research UK funded a study that found chronic pain is far more prevalent than anyone thought (unless you happen to be a pain relief specialist like little old me). Over 50% of the adult population is suffering.
While mild chronic pain can be ‘lived with’, up to 14.3% have moderate or ‘severely disabling’ pain. That means more than 1 in 10 people have their life negatively affected, and often in more than one way.
First off, there is the immobility, meaning less enjoyment of once pleasurable activities and hobbies and even inability to do everyday things like getting your socks and shoes on.
Next up is the emotional toll. For some the mental/emotional strain is so great they consider suicide.
Then there are the side effects of medication. There is no such thing as a safe pain killer or anti-inflammatory drug. Some can prove fatal with just one dose, but all have long term effects either on the liver, kidneys, brain, bowel, stomach, immune system or joints. Medication leads to side effects and more medication and often a shorter life. It is a common occurrence that when elderly patients are hospitalised with an ‘unknown illness’ it is found to be the side effects to the 4 or 5 drugs they are on that proves to be more fatal than the actual conditions they are being treated for.
What is the answer? Where did all this pain come from?
What the study did not look into was what is causing all this pain and disability and what the way forward may be. This is where my 20 years of experience and continued research may shed some answers.
Many of the chronic pain conditions suffered by our aging population actually have their route causes in earlier life – even childhood and child birth.
The development of poor posture is a big one, and this really starts at the age of 5 when we go to school and get told to ‘sit still’. Our spine, our nervous system and our bodies are NOT meant to be still at 5. In order to fully develop a healthy brain and nervous system, and a good upright posture, you need to be fully mobile.
This is why we offer free annual posture checks for our patients children from age 3 – 10, and why we would love to perform posture checks in nearby primary schools.
A second huge, under diagnosed cause of chronic pain is toxic accumulation. This again starts in childhood. Even the safest pain killer – paracetamol – given to children as Calpol, can cause lifelong health issues with as little as one dose! Asthma, eczema, kidney problems, liver toxicity and increased diabetes have all been linked with levels of paracetamol currently thought safe in Calpol.
I have written about the dangers of Calpol in the past, and have more extensive articles on toxicity planned. The toxic cause I’d like to highlight today is ‘polypharmacy’ – the use or 2 or more drugs in a single patient.
Too many people are mistakenly being prescribed more drugs than they need. 66% of people suffer bad reactions, some so severe that even properly prescribed medicine is a leading, preventable cause of death in the UK. 40% of the elderly are actually given the WRONG prescription. Ideally you should have regular full reviews with your GP. Next best is the pharmacy that dispenses the drugs. Often GP’s and pharmacists are too busy to fully check prescriptions, so we offer our local community this free service. We can give you guidance so when you next see your GP things can be dealt with quickly.
To make use of our Posture Checks for Children, or our Prescription Review service, call us on 01707 662 704.