Holidays Can Be a Pain in the Neck! But DON’T Pass the Pills, Please.
The holidays can actually be painful. It’s a stressful time of the year! Pain has many faces, be it physical pain from a bodily injury, the stressful pain of trying to get budgets approved with senior management, or the overwhelming frustration of managing relationships as families congregate around the holidays. The holidays are indeed a joyous time, but can also be quite painful for many.
Many suffer with chronic pain, and the activity and stress of the holiday season can exacerbate the affliction. Wrapping presents? Addressing and signing Christmas cards? Carrying large packages out to the car? Assembling bicycles under the Christmas tree? Trying to find time to get the blended family together? Ouch! My wrists! My knees! My head!
All this pain has us running to the doctor for help.
Unfortunately, this has led to a nationwide opioid addiction of such epidemic proportions that 91 Americans die EVERY DAY from opioid overdose.¹
Opioids: Powerful, Addictive Painkillers
Nearly 2 million adults are now reported to have become addicted to opioids.² Opioid is a class of drug that includes both illegal drugs such as heroin as well as prescription pills like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Percocet that are used to regulate pain after a surgery or injury. Because these drugs create artificial endorphins, anyone taking them, prescribed or not, can become addicted. When used over longer periods of time or in higher doses, risks associated with addiction, overdose, and death increase. The opioid crisis has been taking peoples’ lives at an alarming rate. From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdose.³
The White House’s Response
President Trump has declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, saying it is the “worst drug crisis in American history”.
Declaring a Public Health Emergency gives the Secretary of Health and Human Services authority to make grants, investigate loopholes, and revise health regulations.
As funding and regulations are used to combat this crisis, other federal agencies like the CDC recommend carefully considering the risks that come with opioids and looking into non-opioid options when treating acute and chronic pain.
Instead of Opioids, Try the Following Alternatives:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Electrotherapy (TENS – Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)
- Massage Therapy
Enjoy the Season
As you celebrate the holidays, be mindful of the pain and stress affecting you and your loved ones. Whichever holiday you celebrate, enjoy your time during this beautiful season, and remember to take it easy on yourself. We want you all here to celebrate 2018 with us. Happy Holidays!
The information offered here is not medical advice and is not intended to replace guidance offered by your medical professionals.
² Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality. (2016). 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD.
³ CDC. Wide-ranging online data for epidemiologic research (WONDER). Atlanta, GA: CDC, National Center for Health Statistics; 2016. Available at http://wonder.cdc.gov.
Shelby Kenney is an Associate Product Manager at Graham-Field.
About GF Health Products, Inc.
Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with more than 300 US-based employees, GF Health Products, Inc. is a major manufacturer of healthcare products for the acute care, extended care, homecare and primary care markets. The Graham-Field family of brands includes Basic American Medical Products, Everest & Jennings, Grafco, Hausted, John Bunn, Labtron, Lumex and Lumiscope. Visit www.grahamfield.com or call 770-368-4700. © 2017, GF Health Products, Inc., all rights reserved.