There you are, ready to leap out of the hospital bed and take your first steps on your brand-new knees.
And that’s when the pain hits you, and it hits you hard.
You want to scream. Heck, maybe you WILL scream — because the pain of arthritis is nothing next to what you can feel in the days after knee replacement surgery.
Your doc likely won’t warn you ahead of time about that pain, but it’s practically a guarantee — and that’s how seniors just like you end up making one of the biggest mistakes of their lives.
You might be so desperate for some relief that you pop opioid painkillers.
Despite all the warnings over these meds, docs are still passing them around like hot dogs at a Fourth of July BBQ — and the latest research shows how knee replacement surgery can put folks who never would’ve dreamed of getting hooked on opioids on the path to addiction.
Eight percent — nearly 1 in 10 — of patients who WEREN’T on the drugs before knee replacement end up taking them six months after surgery. And if you’re on the drugs before surgery, good luck getting off them — because 53 percent of those folks are STILL taking opioids six months after a knee replacement.
Given the intense pain known to follow this procedure, I can’t blame them for wanting to take the strongest med a doc is willing to offer.
But what these folks don’t realize is that the very promise of that powerful relief is built on a lie — because a second new study finds opioid painkillers don’t kill pain after all.
They can make it worse — increasing severity and DOUBLING the duration of pain.
Because the drugs deliver a quick hit of short-term relief, odds are you won’t even make the connection between the meds and the increased pain over the long run.
But experiments on mice found that the drugs activate spinal immune cells, increasing inflammation and — eventually — pain, making the mice more sensitive to pain after using the drugs for just five days.
Next thing you know, your “quick and easy” knee surgery is setting you on the path to a long-term battle with pain unlike anything you’ve ever faced before.
Fortunately, you may not even need that knee surgery in the first place as natural therapies can do what all the drugs and artificial joints in the world can’t: They can slow, stop, or even REVERSE the damage of osteoarthritis.
For example, cod liver oil can block the enzyme responsible for joint cartilage damage in osteoarthritis patients. And don’t forget the old standards, glucosamine and chondroitin.
Better yet, take all three for best results, and you might never need to see an opioid painkiller in the first place.