Chronic Pain & The Importance of Sleep

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Chronic pain and pressure relief mattresses - Man with aching back

Chronic Pain

Over 100 hundred years ago, Felix Hoffman produced a painkiller known as aspirin, and since then, there are literally hundreds of painkillers on the market that people use to get relief.  Although most of these drugs are good at relieving pain, there is also the potential for serious side effects, especially if taken over a long period of time. There is one element that many chronic pain sufferers should consider and that is sleep. Pain and poor sleep often go hand in hand and the benefits of a weight distributing mattress can give relief from pressure point pain during sleep. We will discuss the current state of pain management and list some of our favorite mattresses for pressure point pain relief.

As great as these painkillers might be, there are thousands of people who cannot take them due to allergic reactions, or they are on medications that prevent them from using these drugs.  There are some drugs, such as aspirin, warfarin, and heparin, that also cause thinning of the blood.  Therefore, although painkillers are effective, thousands of people cannot take them, and even more people who do not want to take chemicals because they don’t trust what side effects might arise.  These people are looking for natural alternatives for dealing with their pain for their own personal reasons.


Best Mattresses For Pressure Relief

The Luft Bed  https://luftbeds.com

Nectar Sleep   https://www.nectarsleep.com

Purple  https://www.purple.com


This report will provide  natural pain management alternatives for you to choose from, as well as an understanding of these alternatives and possible disadvantages attached to them.

Although the term pain has been used in many ways, in this report, we will be discussing physical pain that afflicts people’s lives every day, leaving them in a miserable place.  Describing pain can be elusive and hard to pin down. It’s defined as an unpleasant sensory or experience associated with potential tissue damage. Also, one person’s tolerance for pain can be different from what someone else is experiencing.  For instance, someone who suffers from chronic pain will eventually learn to live with it, even if the pain never subsides.  Pain expert Margo McCaffrey said that pain is whatever a person is experiencing and whenever they say it does.

The point is, almost half the population will visit their doctor looking for relief from pain.  Your doctor, in turn, will locate the pain, analyze it in terms of intensity and the characteristics, such as throbbing or a burning sensation. Many of these patients will receive treatment using painkillers and require plenty of rest.  Unfortunately, for patients that suffer from chronic pain, it’s not that easy.  A pain that turns into a medical condition does not just go away over time, and standard treatments won’t work.

What Is Pain?

Pain is an alarm from your defense system. It’s a natural reaction from your body telling you to stop doing something that has caused damage.  It is there to help you change your habits and stop you from repeating whatever happened to you.  Therefore, your body is trying to protect you from further physical harm and/or damage.  It’s a conscious sensation that can strike at anytime and anywhere.  Paint can be the result of a serious accident or a medical problem.

Built-In Natural Pain Management

Millions of years ago, people were born with natural pain management substances, such as hormones or other chemicals in the body.  Pain management was a greatly needed protection against pain and harm.  Keep in mind, they did not have the luxury of painkillers and aspirin when they suffered from pain.  It is believed that, during the time of the caveman, there were herbal remedies to help relieve pain but probably not of the caliber of today’s painkillers.  Therefore, it’s believed that the body’s natural pain control mechanisms were much more effective.

What’s important, recent studies have shown that our natural mechanisms have not altogether disappeared!  Newborn babies are coming into this world that is hugely different from our caveman ancestry.  Research shows that, due to our modern world, natural pain control has not been switched on.

Studies conducted at the University of Maryland have shown the natural pain control process in young babies is brought on by sugar and suckling and is related to the spinal column.  That said, further research would have to be conducted on humans to establish any degree of certainty.

Further research suggested that, through suckling and giving sugar water to laboratory animals, their pain levels were reduced significantly within a few minutes.  This could suggest it is possible to build up a baby’s tolerance to pain quickly and easily through suckling and sugar water.  Even though further research would have to be conducted, it is food for thought!

Over-The-Counter Painkillers

Aspirin:

Aspirin is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and the first drug of its kind to be discovered.  It is also one of the most popularly used analgesic painkillers on the market.  It has been used for over 100 years for minor pain conditions such as headaches.  For most people, aspirin is a safe solution, except for those who are taking other medications that might interact with aspirin.

Also, it is estimated that approximately 1% of the population suffers from aspirin allergies, usually in the form of hives, rashes, and swelling.  For people who are susceptible to asthma, aspirin can bring on an attack.  It is believed that approximately 10% of asthma sufferers will suffer from some form of allergic reaction to aspirin.  In a worst-case scenario, an allergy to aspirin can develop into anaphylaxis, which is a life-threatening allergic reaction.  Aspirin has also been known to cause upset stomachs, diarrhea, and bleeding internally and externally.  It can also cause serious bruising due to its anticoagulant abilities.

It is reported that a small number of people can contract Reye’s Syndrome from aspirin, which can be life-threatening due to internal organ damage, especially the brain and liver.  Reye’s Syndrome is a serious condition that must be diagnosed early, or brain damage and/or death could follow.

Reye’s Syndrome has 5 stages, with the first stage being heavy vomiting, general lethargy, nightmares, and intense confusion.  If anyone who is taking aspirin shows any of these symptoms, it is imperative to get them to a doctor or an emergency room as quickly as possible.

Paracetamol and Tylenol

Paracetamol, known as acetaminophen, is used for relief of pain and reducing fever.  Tylenol is one of the most popular drugs on the market and relieves moderate and mild pain, fever, and headaches.  Its active ingredient is acetaminophen.  Paracetamol is actually an aniline analgesic and the only one still on the market, as similar drugs were removed because it was believed they showed carcinogenic characteristics, but paracetamol has not to date.  Paracetamol does not affect the coagulation of blood and will not irritate the stomach lining, like aspirin and other NSAIDs do.  That said, this drug is made from coal tar, which might give you pause for using it.  High doses can lead to gastrointestinal bleeding, and very high levels can cause liver damage.  Tylenol poisoning is the number one cause of acute liver failure in Western countries.  Studies have also shown that children using paracetamol during their first year of life can develop asthmatic symptoms around the ages of 6 and 7.

Ibuprofen and Naproxen:

Ibuprofen, such as Advil and Nuprin, and Naproxen, Aleve, are both NSAID drugs like aspirin.  They have the same side effects, such as upset stomachs, allergies, and a high risk of asthma attacks, as found with aspirin.  That said, Ibuprofen has even higher risks, including the increase of the risk a heart attack, as well as exacerbating irritable bowel syndrome, if taken in high doses. Naproxen is actually considered a more serious problem, as it was used to reduce the severity of Alzheimer’s disease, but this drug increased the risk of heart attacks and strokes. All said, further analysis indicates, when taking normal levels of these drugs, the risk of a heart attack or stroke is actually quite low.

Prescription Painkillers:

Painkillers prescribed by your doctor will fall into two groups. The first is made up of stronger non-steroidal anti-inflammatories than those painkillers sold over-the-counter.  The second group consists of drugs that are opiates or synthetic opiates.  Opiates have become a very hot topic due to their addiction levels.

Celecoxib, Diclofenac, And Tramadol:

These three groups include Celebrex, Voltaren, Naklofen, Arbitren, and Ultram. They are all NSAIDs that come with their own set of side effects. Side effects include a high risk of both internal and external bleeding, upset stomachs, nausea, bruising etc.  There are higher risks for a heart attack with Celecoxib and Diclofenac than with Naproxen, which is relatively low.  Obviously, with all these drugs, the higher the dosage, the higher the risks.

That said, those who suffer from chronic pain are more likely to accept the risks to control their pain.  Unfortunately, there is also a greater risk for liver or kidney damage with these three drugs, and if damage occurs, in most cases, it will be irreversible.

Demerol, Vicodin, And Lorcet:

These drugs are natural or synthetic opiates commonly used to treat a variety of medical issues and relieve pain. They are also considered drugs that can be abused, leading to addiction.

Demerol

Demerol is the most popular opiate prescribed by approximately 60% of doctors for serious pain and around 23% for chronic pain conditions.  During the 80s, it was originally believed to be safer and stronger than morphine-based drugs, but since then, this does not seem to be the case.  Demerol lasts for a short period of time and has a low potency, leaving research to question whether it is effective at all.

Further studies have shown it comes with significant risks causing neuropathological issues involving diseases of the nervous system, including delirium and seizures; therefore, it is not being prescribed as often by doctors. There are several countries that have strict limitations on this drug or have banned it altogether.

Vicodin:

Vicodin, on the other hand, does not have the serious side effects of Demerol but can cause nausea, upset stomachs, dizziness, and headaches.  If allergic to Vicodin, reactions can be unconsciousness, bleeding, jaundice, bruising, and constipation to name a few.  Most of these side effects are exceptions and not commonplace, but as an opiate, it can be highly addictive!

One serious issue with this drug, it will cause many people to take larger doses for greater effectiveness because the body can develop a resistance to this drug rather quickly.  Because Vicodin is an opiate, increasing the dosage, over time, can lead to addiction.  Its addictive state is due to the presence of hydrocodone, which increases the rate of taking more to alleviate your pain.  As of late, there has been a growing concern regarding patients and opiates, and many reports have shown there can be serious social and legal issues for Vicodin. Those addicted to this drug will go from one doctor to another to get their prescriptions filled, which has proven to be a very serious situation across the board.  Above and beyond any side effects, if a patient starts taking higher doses and becomes addicted, their quality of life will become worse, and the potential of many health issues increases.

As mentioned, opiate drugs are, by nature, addictive; therefore, if you are taking one of these drugs, you must show a great deal of caution.  If you feel the prescription is losing its effectiveness, you should immediately get with your doctor and find an alternative.

Lorcet:

As mentioned earlier, hydrocodone is the main ingredient found in Vicodin, which makes it extremely addictive, and the same is true with Lorcet.  This medication is also highly addictive, and those who become addicted can suffer from serious liver problems.  Also, overdosing on any of these hydrocodone-based drugs can lead to respiratory issues, heart failure, heart attacks, seizures, jaundice, amnesia, blackouts, and eventually death!

Many opiate-based drugs also have acetaminophen, like Tylenol and Paracetamol.  Therefore, even small levels of overdosing can lead to serious, irreversible liver damage and jaundice.  Anyone taking these opiate drugs must use a great deal of caution!  If your doctor prescribes one of these drugs, you might want to ask them for something a great deal safer and not get involved with opiates.

Taking any pharmaceutical drug can lead to side effects ranging from something mild, like diarrhea, to serious issues, such as liver damage, heart failure, drug addiction, and even death.  The majority of people that would suffer from side effects are actually low, but the fact remains, if you are one out of a hundred who suffers from an allergic reaction to aspirin or discovers your asthma has gotten worse from these drugs, there is a good chance you will suffer from a side effect.

If you can avoid taking these drugs, you might want to consider an alternative solution to your pain.  There are many new, completely natural choices available for anyone who wants relief from pain but does not want to take drugs that could put them in harm’s way. This book will discuss some of the alternatives, depending on the level of pain you are suffering.

Diagnosing Your Kind of Pain:

Before your doctor can decide what over-the-counter or prescription drug will work for you, he or she will need to analyze the kind of pain you are suffering.  They will be able to figure out if you are suffering from acute or chronic pain and any underlying conditions that caused the pain in the first place.  Only then will they determine what action to take.

For instance, you might need to buy an over-the-counter drug if you are running a fever; probably, the most popular choices would be Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Similar situations will apply to any pain you are suffering.  Different solutions will depend on what works best for a specific pain.

A painkiller that works for a headache will probably not work if you are suffering from a strained back.  Again, pain is not always easy to tack down and yet can be diagnosed depending on what caused the pain in the first place.

The Ancient Practice of Acupuncture:

Acupuncture has been around for thousands of years and has shown incredible results for improving one’s health and relieving pain.  Acupuncture is performed by inserting fine needles in a specific area of the body as practiced by the ancient Chinese.  This practice addresses both psychological and medical problems that you might be experiencing.

In western civilization, doctors have been treating patients with a variety of drugs that only address the particular area where the pain is being felt but not for any length of time.  The practice of acupuncture looks for the cause of the problem that very likely is not where you are experiencing the pain.  An acupuncture practitioner will seek the root of the problem and then address it.

Acupuncture is based on the idea that the human body has energy flows that rush around the body.  These energy flows have been disrupted in one way or another, causing illnesses and pain.  Acupuncture recognizes these flows or channels to connect various parts of the body to one another.  By connecting unconnected parts of the body with connected parts, the acupuncturist will focus on the problem and attempt to open the correct energy channels, so the energy flow can be stimulated and resolve the problem.

Along these channels, there are points that acupuncturists recognize, referred to as acupoints.  Acupoints are areas that have been interrupted, causing issues in the body.  Once these points are discovered, the acupuncturist will insert fine needles through your skin to stimulate these points and free the vital energy flow.

The use of these long fine needles is still used by many acupuncturists, but there are now many alternatives for performing the art of acupuncture, including targeting electrical charges on these points to stimulate the energy flow.  There are those who use magnets for the same purpose, and ongoing research is looking into using lasers for the same purpose.

Although acupuncture has been around for well over 2,000 years, no one really understands why it works as well as it does. Medical doctors have wondered for years why this process works, but they are seeing amazing results! Two studies performed in the 90s showed that, for whatever reason, acupuncture works well and is one of the most popular alternatives for treating pain and illnesses by most doctors.

In theory, acupuncture is effective in treating pain because it addresses these unconnected areas of the body. One theory suggests that treating these acupuncture points will stimulate the central nervous system, releasing hormones and chemicals into the spinal column and muscles.  These hormones and chemicals, in turn, will alter the experience of pain while stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself much more quickly than with other alternatives, such as drugs.  Because relief from pain is immediate, the condition is dealt with in a timely manner, and the pain is gone.

Western scientists believe there is evidence that these acupuncture points are electromagnetic junctions.  When these junctions are stimulated, they release the flow of natural painkilling chemicals, such as endorphins.  Other research has shown that acupuncture seems to alter the chemistry of the brain by inducing the release of neurotransmitters and neuro-hormones.  Research into acupuncture is ongoing to try to explain how it causes subtle changes to the nervous system and yet is such an effective solution for pain.

Unlike massage therapy, acupuncture is a natural treatment for pain because it can treat any kind of pain in any area of the body because it’s a whole-body approach to managing pain.  Massage therapy addresses muscle pain, instead of being able to address the entire body to find the actual cause.  Acupuncture has become increasingly popular among the western medical world, recommending a combination of painkillers and acupuncture to address pain.

The medical world is also using this combination to treat people who suffer from post-operative pain.  They have discovered they can completely remove post-operative pain from their patients in a way that painkillers alone cannot do.  Also, there is increasing concern about prescribing drugs that do not seem to address the big picture and  the lack of safety these drugs cause when administered.

A Good Mattress & The Importance Of Sleep

Chronic pain and sleep problems are often associated together. People with chronic pain have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep throughout the night. Or even if they sleep 8 hours people often find themselves tired the next morning because of poor sleep. It’s because of this issue people who are addressing pain management should factor in the benefits of quality sleep.

We at 10 Best Mattresses are not doctors but we know it is a common practice for chronic pain sufferers to first visit a health professional for pain management and consider the benefits of mattresses that evenly distribute a person’s body weight and comfort while sleeping 8 hours. It’s easy to understand when someone is in the same position for a long period of time whether it be sitting or standing, that certain body parts are taking a large amount of the body’s weight and after a while this of course can cause discomfort. If standing for an extended period of time, simply getting up, moving around and changing the body’s position often gives someone immediate relief. The same thing applies to sleeping 8 hours. A good mattress that gives pressure point relief is something for people suffering from chronic pain should consider when shopping for a new mattress. Our 3 favorites are.

The Luft Bed  https://luftbeds.com

Nectar Sleep   https://www.nectarsleep.com

Purple  https://www.purple.com

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