If you are an active person or have sustained injuries and accidents sometime in your life, it will happen to you when you least expect it. A joint, a muscle, a disc, or a ligament will give you problems resulting in pain. You will want to reach for the quickest thing to get you out of pain so that you can go back to enjoying your activities or get back to everyday life without pain. Many people reach for over-the-counter pain relievers and get cortisone shots. People who use pain relievers long term can be doing damage to the kidneys and liver that have to flush them out of your system. A Cortisone shot is an anti-inflammatory drug that can be injected into the damaged tissue to decrease inflammation in the area to stop the pain. One concern with using pain relievers and getting cortisone shots is that it doesn’t cure what caused the pain in the first place. Furthermore, the decrease in pain can cause a person to do more damage to the area since the pain is gone. Masking the pain can be dangerous to the body because when the body does not feel pain, people go back to the activities that resulted in the injuries only to do more damage to the body. The underlying causes of the pain may be lack of strength, sprains or strains, biomechanical problems, lack of flexibility, or overuse stresses. Pain is the body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and it is unable to compensate anymore. If the underlying issues are not addressed, the pain will return and in some cases may become worse. Getting repeated cortisone shots can carry risks such as, eroded cartilage and weakening of tendons that can result in an increased risk for rupture. This was seen when players in the National Football League in the 60s and 70s were getting shots weekly in weight bearing joints such as, the knees. Inflammation is needed during the healing process so reaching for pain relievers right after an injury may interfere with the healing process.
Injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and discs occur when our body is unable to handle all the stress that is put on it. Chiropractic can help people recover and heal faster by addressing the underlying causes of pain in the body, realigning the spine, and improving biomechanical problems that may lead to injury.