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Pain; Ice versus Medication

For patients who have been involved in a car accident, it’s obvious that they are going to be in a level of pain.  It may start out as a minor soreness which goes away in a couple of days, but comes back with a vengeance a week or so later.  It may also continue immediately following the crash and only escalades to a point of severe pain.  From these patients, I am asked regularly if they should take ibuprofen or Tylenol.  The answer to this question is, “Of course”.  However, allow me to suggest an alternative.

If you take ibuprofen, Tylenol, or any other form of anti-inflammatory or NSAID (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug), it doesn’t go exclusively to the point of pain.  In fact, it is a chemical that will travel throughout your body making it a systemic drug that will affect every part of your body.  Even worse, because it is a chemical, it has to be filtered in both the liver and the kidneys.  When these filters take on a chemical, it distracts it from being to perform its biologic task that they are designed to do.  The liver and kidneys suffer, and in some cases, break down.

Every year there are thousands of people that die as a direct result of NSAID usage.

This is properly prescribed and properly taken medication.  I don’t know about you, but those statistics are a bit staggering.  I know that there are times that an NSAID is probably the only thing that seems to take the edge off without going to a higher level of medication.  In those incidences, it is probably the path of choice.  However, I think that we rely too much on medication to get through the day and deny our body’s ability to take on the role that it has been designed to do.

This is something that we learned at a very young age.  If you cut yourself, it heals.  If you break a bone, it heals.  If you get a cold, you heal.  There is a trend that I’m seeing here.  We are designed to heal.  Sometimes it takes longer, such as the broken bone, but ultimately, it still does its job.  When we take medication for pain, there are a few things that happen.  The most likely is that psychologically, we become dependent upon the medication to feel better.  There have been researchers that have determined that the mind is preventing our body from feeling better, even though it has healed from the original problem.  Once the patient was able to get off the medication, and their body had a chance to realize that it didn’t need the medication, it started to feel better.

So when it comes to the original question, “Do I use ice, or medication?”, our recommendation is to try using ice before you rely upon a chemical to mask the problem.  If you have been involved in a car crash, and are suffering from pain, give us a call at 435-674-7515 and we will take care of the rest.  We are your St. George Chiropractor that is certified and dedicated to helping those injured in a car crash. If you are wanting to know which is better, ice or heat, check out this video that we did that answers the age old question.