Ditch the painkillers

Pop­ping pills for that sports in­jury or back pain? It’s time swap them for a nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tive

Health & Fitness - - Contents -

The UK now has a wor­ry­ing level of ad­dic­tion to painkillers – so try nat­u­ral al­ter­na­tives.

Do you suf­fer from IBS, a bad back or crip­pling mi­graines? You’re not alone. Re­cent fig­ures pub­lished in BMJ Open, show around 43 per cent of Brits suf­fer from chronic pain (last­ing more than three months). And when you’re in dis­com­fort, it’s easy to pop a painkiller.

But should you rely on drugs? ‘There has been a 50 per cent in­crease in painkiller pre­scrip­tions over the past 15 years, and two thirds of these are for po­ten­tially ad­dic­tive drugs,’ says GP, Dr Gill Jenk­ins. NHS fig­ures show that last year alone, four mil­lion adults were pre­scribed opi­ate-based painkillers. Over-the-counter drugs have their risks too – parac­eta­mol is the most com­mon cause of liver fail­ure in the de­vel­oped world and linked to a 68 per cent in­crease in heart at­tack risk. So, what can you do? ‘Get to the root cause of the pain,’ says Dr Chidi Ng­waba, spe­cial­ist in lifestyle medicine. Read on for the lat­est ad­vice.

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