The Dangers of Alcohol and Pain

The Dangers of Alcohol and Pain

Pain medication mixed with alcohol is a well-known danger, as seen in many celebrity and non-celebrity cases over the years. And until research can get a better grasp on treating chronic pain, most fibromyalgia patients may begin using the two as a coping mechanism.

Actually, according to research studies, 28 percent of individuals living with chronic pain already do. The pain management specialists at American Spine understand living with chronic pain cannot be easy, but the physicians also want patients to consume alcohol responsibly. Using alcohol as a method for controlling pain is incredibly dangerous, and the physicians at American Spine are here to tell you why.

Alcohol does have the ability to provide a very mild amount of pain relief, primarily because it affects the central nervous system and numbs pain receptors. However, alcohol has no direct pain-relieving value and can actually cause more harm then good when consumed in excessive amounts. Moreover, serious health complications can occur when alcohol is consumed in conjunction with powerful opioid pain medication.

Drinking alcohol while taking prescription pain medication significantly increases your risk of developing stomach ulcers, intestinal bleeding and extensive liver issues like cirrhosis or liver cancer. Immediate side effects can include nausea, vomiting, a lower heart rate and breathing, an overdose or even death.

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually disrupts normal sleep cycles, especially with you’re drinking and hour before going to bed. Because chronic pain already makes sleeping comfortably and soundly less possible, adding alcohol into the mix further complicates this process. With poor sleep comes increased pain, irritability, discomfort and fatigue.

Of course, drinking in moderation and responsibly is the key to decreasing your risk of some of these dangers outcomes. Be sure to discuss your questions and/or concerns regarding your alcohol consumption and medication intake with an American Spine physician.

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating chronic pain and spine conditions. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246).

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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