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Implications of Alcohol Consumption on Chronic Pain Management
Implications of Alcohol Consumption on Chronic Pain Management

Many individuals look forwards to the end of the workday so that they may relax and unwind with a beer or martini. The widespread acceptance of this practise may make individuals oblivious to the real dangers posed by alcoholism. Combining alcohol use with chronic pain increases the likelihood of this happening.

The idea that alcoholic beverages may effectively chronic pain treatment is widely held yet is false. It’s a fact that drinking alcohol can exacerbate some types of discomfort. While alcohol does not reduce pain in any way, being drunk causes the brain to interpret pain signals less accurately.

Combining alcohol and chronic pain is fraught with danger. Among them are tolerance to alcohol, adverse drug interactions, and a worsening of existing discomfort. If you suffer from a disease that causes constant discomfort, you should have an honest conversation with your doctor about your drinking habits.

Related: Invasive Chronic Pain Management Techniques

Use of Alcohol in Australia

The prevalence of alcohol use among those aged 14 and up. Australians’ use of alcoholic beverages has not changed significantly during the past decade. The percentage of South Australians who reported having taken at least one full serving of alcohol over the previous 12 months increased in 2019 to 79.2%. In the whole country, the figure was 76.6%.

Implications of Alcohol Consumption on Chronic Pain Management

Alcohol Use Consequence

However, despite alcohol’s seemingly innocuous appearance as a by-product of normal biological activities, it is actually a potent poison. Extensive usage of alcohol destroys the human body. Cirrhosis and liver disease are the most prevalent alcohol-related health problems, although other problems, such as anaemia, cardiovascular disease, dementia, depression, gout, epilepsy, high blood pressure, pancreatitis, and nerve aches, can also arise from heavy alcohol consumption.

Intense alcohol consumption, whether in a single session or spread out over time, can have fatal consequences.

Alcohol as a Pain Reliever for Chronic Pain Sufferers

It’s hardly unexpected that many people with chronic pain turn to alcohol as a means of relieving their symptoms, given the widespread usage of alcohol in Australia and its long history as a therapeutic numbing agent. Around 28% of people with chronic pain report using alcohol as a form of self-medication, according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

It’s not uncommon for people to turn to alcohol for relief from emotional distress as well as physical discomfort. Many people with chronic pain also struggle with intense feelings of stress, worry, and despair, and to alleviate these symptoms they may turn to a combination of alcoholic beverages and pain medications.

According to the available data, males are more likely than women to resort to alcohol as a treatment for chronic pain, and people with higher incomes are more likely to do so than those with lower incomes. Having frequent pain episodes is also associated with increased alcohol drinking, but not with the intensity of pain symptoms.

A lot of people who deal with chronic pain also have trouble with alcohol. People who use alcohol to relieve pain are more prone to combine alcohol with other substances, both legal and illicit. The use of alcohol often precedes the usage of other drugs.

There is a significant risk of overdose when combining alcohol with pain drugs. Combining alcohol with acetaminophen (Tylenol) can cause liver failure, while mixing alcohol and aspirin can increase the risk of gastric haemorrhage. It is especially dangerous for the elderly to combine alcohol consumption with opioid pain medication since this can lead to respiratory depression.

Implications of Alcohol Consumption on Chronic Pain Management

Using Alcohol to Treat Chronic Pain: Possible Effects

There are potential benefits to treating chronic pain with alcohol, despite the many potential hazards. Some fibromyalgia patients who drank moderately did report a little reduction in pain severity, according to a research published in Pain Medicine. Mild to moderate alcohol use was associated with reduced anxiety and sadness in those with chronic pain. Drinking two alcoholic beverages per day was considered moderate in this study for males, whereas drinking one alcoholic beverage per day was considered moderate for women.

There is a consensus among scientists that alcohol alone is not responsible for these positive health effects. Others argue that the social components of even light alcohol usage might have an effect on pain problems. Those who drink alcohol in moderation are more likely to engage in vigorous physical and social activities, which may help alleviate their symptoms.

Contrarily, alcohol has a variety of negative consequences that might amplify pain sensations. Alcohol’s negative effects on sleep quality are among the most serious. The circadian rhythm, which controls our sleep schedule, can be disrupted by alcohol use. While being drunk may make you more inclined to nod off, it also makes the sleep you do get less restorative and more prone to interruptions. If you don’t get enough rest, your body won’t be able to heal properly, and your pain will be worse.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the effects of alcohol wear off quickly. Your brain and body will develop tolerance to alcohol over time. The same dosage consumed initially will not have the same analgesic effects as time goes on. This is a certain way to develop a dependency on drugs, which might end up being even more harmful to your health than the original source of your discomfort. A pain specialist can help you develop a plan of action for the long haul to avoid this.

For more information on chronic pain symptoms, chronic pain resources or effective chronic pain management options, you should book a consultation session with a specialist at Chronic Therapy today, to give you professional advice that will suit your personal experience. 

Invasive Chronic Pain Management Techniques
Invasive Chronic Pain Management Techniques

Chronic pain can be extremely painful, especially if it persists over time. Inflammatory arthritis, bone fractures from accidents or sports injuries, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, facet joint dysfunction, and sacroiliac joint dysfunction are among the most prevalent sources of chronic pain. Professionals at chronic pain management clinics may resort to invasive procedures in order to relieve their patients’ persistent chronic pain symptoms. These methods have been extensively researched, and they have been found to be both safe and effective.

No one should have to go through further suffering and probable problems on their way to finding relief by Chronic Therapy. There are several minimally invasive pain treatment approaches that provide effective and sustainable remedies based on new technologies and a better knowledge of pain.

Methods of treating chronic pain that are invasive include injecting medication or inserting medical equipment. Many invasive pain management techniques have been tried for the treatment of chronic neck and back pain. Popular interventional chronic pain treatment methods include:


Injections, which can also be referred to as blocks, are commonly utilized by doctors to alleviate the agonizing chronic pain of their patients. Anesthetics and steroids are primarily administered to guarantee precise distribution to specific ligaments, nerves, and muscles. The anti-inflammatory medication shows better and faster effectiveness when administered directly.

Invasive Chronic Pain Management Techniques

After other pain reduction options like medicine and physical therapy have failed, this method may be tried. The effects of an injection for pain relief can be both short- and long-lasting, depending on the substance utilized. Pain in the lower or upper extremities that originates in the spine, such as from a pinched nerve, may be temporarily alleviated by an epidural injection. Injections like this disrupt the transmission of pain signals to the brain, resulting in significant pain relief.

In addition to alleviating the symptoms of chronic pain, injections are also employed as a method of diagnosis. They aid medical professionals in determining if the location being injected is the source of discomfort.

Nerve impulses sent to the brain via the spinal cord

A spinal cord stimulator might be an excellent option for those who have failed back surgery syndrome, complicated regional chronic pain syndrome, or nerve damage throughout the spine and are unable to get relief from their chronic pain through traditional medical means. The spinal cord stimulator sends out low-voltage electrical currents, which interfere with the nerves’ ability to send pain signals to the brain. The electrodes and battery pack for the stimulator will be implanted through tiny incisions.


Those who suffer from persistent discomfort in the lower back may wish to learn more about the Intracept treatment. The basivertebral nerve can be ablated by an intraosseous platform called Intracept. They do the operation with just local anaesthetic, and you can go home right after.


Injection therapy is commonly used to repair damage to the musculoskeletal system’s connective tissue. This method is only explored if the patient has exhausted all other treatment options without result. Injured, frail tissues can quickly recover from these puncture wounds because to the injections’ stimulating effect on the body’s natural healing process. For those suffering from back discomfort, they are a lifesaver. Spinal conditions including whiplash, sacroiliac dysfunction, and degenerative disc degeneration can all lead to persistent pain that sclerosant therapy can help alleviate.

Invasive Chronic Pain Management Techniques

Ablation by use of radiofrequency radiation

Here, a little needle is used to provide heat, which eventually deadens the nerves responsible for the pain. About 60% of patients benefit from this, and the effect might persist for months or even years if the right people are chosen.


During this surgical procedure, modest electrical pulses are sent to the part of the body where pain is being felt. It’s a final resort that’s rarely employed. Electrotherapy is effective in alleviating pain, mending damaged tissues, boosting circulation, and building up muscle. To put it plainly, it aids in the body’s physical functioning.

It entails a battery-operated gadget with wires that are applied to the skin and attached to electrode pads. After being fastened, it may be turned on to provide a gentle electric current to the skin. Since electrical currents stimulate nerve endings, they can reduce pain and speed recovery. They’re prescribed for conditions including fibromyalgia, persistent headaches, and diabetic nerve pain.

Opioid infusion pumps that can be implanted

These pumps are used to provide opioids to the spinal cord and need surgical implantation. It’s not cheap to buy one of these pumps. Some argue that these tools aren’t useful or even safe for treating persistent back pain.

It may come as a pleasant surprise to those with chronic pain who have been taking opioids for treatment to hear that they can reap the advantages of a slow, safe reduction in conjunction with efficient pain rehabilitation techniques.


Some doctors will recommend kyphoplasty as a treatment for compression fractures since it is effective at repairing the damaged vertebra. To repair your broken vertebra, the doctors will inject a cement-like material into the area. Kyphoplasty may usually be done as an outpatient treatment with just local anaesthetic required.


A lumbar micro-endoscopic discectomy is a procedure that can be used if a patient is having issues with one of the discs in their lower back. The injured section of your disc and any pieces are removed during this treatment utilizing tiny incisions and specialist equipment.

For more information on how you can better manage your chronic pain symptoms, you should book a consultation session with a specialist at Chronic Therapy today, to give you professional advice that will suit your personal experience.