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Posted on 05-28-2013

Medication Overuse Headache

Headache pain medication ads are everywhere – from glossy magazine spreads to flashy TV commercials. The message is simple: Your headache deserves a strong painkiller, which will instantly cure the problem. Pain should not slow you down, since there’s an easy, swift solution.

Doctors of chiropractic, such as Dr. Ryan, wholeheartedly disagree with the advertisers’ quick-fix pill solution. What the ads don’t mention is that the strategy often backfires: the pills can eventually cause more pain than they cure. When this happens, a condition called medication overuse headache (MOH) occurs. Sadly, this condition is all too common.

If you think that only prescription medication can cause MOH, you’re wrong. Almost any pain medication that provides rapid headache relief can cause MOH. Culprits can include simple pain relievers like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Aleve). Mixed analgesics, migraine-specific medications, and opiates are especially known as MOH instigators.

Dr. Ryan often cares for individuals with MOH. For doctors of chiropractic, the solution to headaches isn’t a pill. In addition to spawning MOH, pain medication does nothing to prevent future pain and is often accompanied by multiple undesirable side effects. The solution is the chiropractic lifestyle, which involves stress reduction, chiropractic care, healthy diets, and exercise. All of the components of this lifestyle are proven ways to head pain and are free from side effects.

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