More Americans turn to alcohol to dealt with pain than Canadians

Credit: Unsplash+

Many people experience pain in their daily lives, and they employ various methods to manage or alleviate it.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Western University delved into the strategies people use to deal with pain and how these strategies relate to their pain levels and other factors, such as their location.

The study, led by sociology professor Anna Zajacova, aimed to understand the frequency of pain management strategies and their correlation with the severity of pain and geographic location. The findings revealed some interesting insights into how people cope with pain.

One striking discovery was that individuals who reported high levels of pain were eight times more likely to use alcohol as a pain management strategy compared to those with low or no pain.

Furthermore, the study found that Americans were twice as likely as Canadians to turn to alcohol to alleviate pain. Approximately 8% of respondents in the United States used alcohol for pain management, while fewer than 4% of Canadians did.

This percentage rose to 21% among individuals experiencing the most severe pain in both countries.

The study was published in the journal Innovation in Aging and highlighted the prevalence of alcohol use as a pain management method. However, the researchers noted that this approach is ineffective and can even worsen pain.

Zajacova stated, “Our research shows that using alcohol to treat pain is somewhat common, unfortunately. Previous research has shown that it is not only ineffective at treating pain, but it can actually be counterproductive.”

The research involved an online survey with over 4,000 adult participants who were asked to select up to ten pain treatment options, including medication, physical therapy, and exercise.

Unsurprisingly, the severity of an individual’s pain was the most significant predictor of their use of pain management methods.

While alcohol use stood out as the most notable finding, not all of the strategies examined in the study were counterproductive.

The research revealed that over-the-counter medications, exercise, and acceptance were the most commonly used pain management techniques. These methods were also favored by individuals with low levels of pain.

Zajacova emphasized that people do not solely rely on medical professionals to address their pain. Many individuals adopt non-medical and non-pharmacological strategies to manage their pain, with varying degrees of success.

Understanding these approaches is crucial for healthcare providers, as it can inform more comprehensive patient-centered care plans.

The hope is that this research will assist clinicians in adopting holistic approaches that incorporate a range of self-care strategies.

By initiating discussions with patients about effective and ineffective strategies, healthcare providers can provide more tailored guidance and support for individuals in pain.

If you care about pain, please read studies about why long COVID can cause pain, and common native American plant may help reduce diarrhea and pain.

For more information about pain, please see recent studies about why people with red hair respond differently to pain than others, and results showing this drug may relieve painful ‘long covid’ symptoms.

The research findings can be found in Innovation in Aging.

Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.