Quitting Painkillers to Halt Pain

In the UK there are a million people who have completely preventable headaches caused by taking too many types of painkillers leading physicians have said.  Often people are being trapped in a cycle of taking pain medication which often ends up causing more headaches.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) have now revealed that they have released guidelines on how to treat headaches.  In some cases they are recommending that the patient undertake homeopathic treatments to cure them. 

Definitive Data

Whilst there are no definitive UK data that this is causing the issue but in other countries there has been evidence to suggest that approximately two per cent of people are affected.  The World Health Organization has stated that the figure is actually closer to five per cent.

It is a completely understandable process because as soon as you start to feel a headache coming on then you immediately reach for the painkillers.  You can’t often watch a programme on the television these days without an advert at the interval advising you to buy their product for aches and pains – and more often than not headaches.

Most headaches are generally caused by the stresses and strains that come with everyday life and are generally caused by tension from poor posture.  These can often become worse by taking painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. 

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Tipping Point

A neurologist has stated that there is a tipping point after 10-15 days which is a huge problem because one in 50 people are overusing domestic painkilling tablets so approximately one million people in the UK are having headaches on a daily basis because they are using painkillers.

People with a family history of tension type headaches or migraines are more susceptible to getting these particular types of headaches because of the lengthy periods of time they take medication for. 

New guidelines released in England and Wales advise doctors to inform their patients to stop taking all pain relief.  This will lead to approximately a month of pain and hardship for their patients who will have to content with headaches but their symptoms will improve and the pain will subside over time.

The guidelines also recommend that patients should seek methods such as acupuncture for migraines and tension headaches.  There is sufficient evidence that acupuncture is an effective way of managing pain and is easily accessible.

NICE have also advised that doctors mustn’t refer patients for scans to confirm they haven’t a brain tumour unless they have been experiencing behavioural problems or having seizures in what may be seen as a cost cutting measure.

Jenny Jones writes on behalf of The Health Insurance Group and has also made contributions to blogs such as Follow Health and PMIUK.

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