The Impact of Alcohol on Chronic Pain

the impact of alcohol on chronic pain - blog

When a person is in severe pain, immediate relief is the desired outcome. 

Chronic pain can be so overwhelming that it prevents individuals from engaging in simple activities, like walking, sitting for extended periods, or lifting items that weigh more than a few pounds. Unfortunately, in their desperation to get relief, some people turn to alcohol to numb their pain, if just for a short time. However, alcohol is not a painkiller. Alcohol Awareness Month is a perfect time to discuss the risks of using alcohol to alleviate chronic pain.

The Impact of Alcohol on Chronic Pain and Health

Alcohol depresses the central nervous system, which can lessen the sensation of pain, however is not an effective or safe treatment. People who take prescription or over-the-counter pain medication put themselves at risk for dangerous alcohol and medication interactions when they drink to get pain relief. For example, taking acetaminophen and drinking alcohol can lead to liver damage, and mixing alcohol with opioids can be fatal.

Individuals who suffer from chronic pain and use alcohol for pain relief often need to increase the amount of alcohol consumed to get some “relief.” Excessive drinking can lead to addiction and can contribute to health issues such as cirrhosis of the liver, cancers, anemia, heart disease, dementia, and depression.

Interventional Pain Management

There are safe ways to help people manage pain. Interventional pain management is one option that can address chronic pain even when traditional medications fail to do an adequate job or when surgery is not an option. At Midwest Anesthesia and Pain Specialists, interventional pain techniques have helped people with all types of pain conditions find relief. When a Chicago pain doctor in our practice uses interventional pain management, the source of the pain is the focus of the treatment. Injections at the pain site and nerve blocks to interrupt pain signals are two examples of interventional pain management that have helped individuals return to normal activities after being sidelined with chronic pain.

Get Help Now

Our compassionate pain management doctors are double board-certified and committed to helping you put an end to needless suffering. If you are enduring chronic pain, do not turn to alcohol or other dangerous and unproven treatments for pain relief; let us help you. Give Midwest Anesthesia Pain Specialists a call today to schedule an appointment. One of our Chicago pain doctors will evaluate your situation, and work with you to develop a treatment plan to address your pain.