Healthy Resolutions for 2016

St George Chiropractor

When looking at New Year’s Resolutions, we all know someone who has committed themselves to ‘getting healthy’ for 2016. We know the basics of getting healthy, right?

  1. Eat less refined foods
  2. Eat more whole foods
  3. Eat more protein
  4. Exercise daily
  5. Quit smoking

But there are a few things that are often overlooked when trying to embrace a healthier lifestyle. As I chiropractor, I have some expertise on the subject. Let’s talk about one today:

Take Fewer Pain Meds.

It’s true. Pain Medication, even the over the counter NSAID type like acetaminophen, and ibuprofen have tremendous negative effects on your long term health. Reducing your pain medication dosage by half has a reduction in risk.

They carry a risk of acute gastric bleed.  Some studies have reported that for certain age groups, NSAID use is one of the leading causes of stomach ulcers and gastric bleeds.Pain Meds can lead to gastric bleeding. See your chiropractor instead.


Kidney damage is a known side effect.  Even back in 1994, this was well understood.  The New England Journal of Medicine published a report in Dec 1994 showing that 8-10% of all kidney failure was a result of the abuse of NSAIDs like those found in the brands Advil, and Tylenol.  Some of the other problems associate with use of these drugs include: hyperkalemia, sodium and fluid retention, hypertension, and acute renal failure.

Liver damage is the major risk with overdosing on pain meds, especially acetaminophen which is the active drug in Tylenol.  It is so dangerous that Tylenol overdose is a preferred method of suicide for teenagers.   Sadly, about 1/3 of the time, the person did not intend to overdose, but misunderstood the dangers and took more than the recommended amount.  Lortab, the prescription pain killer also contains acetaminophen.  Some people get addicted to Lortab and end up destroying their liver trying to get high on the other ingredients in Lortab.

A very common, and under-reported adverse event is Rebound Pain.  Your nervous system actually generates pain when a person takes OTC pain medications.  The phenomenon is well described.   Pharmacists, and most medical doctors, are taught this in school.  If you are taking pain medication for an acute injury, you are preparing your body to get hooked on it.

I am not trying to convince anyone to stop taking all pain medications.  But I do want people to think of the risks and consider alternatives to the drugs.  One safe and effective way of managing chronic and acute pain is with chiropractic care.  Doctors of chiropractic have special training in treating chronic pain.

Think about how your life could improve by adding regular chiropractic care to your New Year Health Resolution!
Dr. Andrew White | St George Chiropractor

Featured image courtesy of and Krishna Arts

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