Alcoholism & Back Pain

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Alcohol negatively affects your health.
Alcohol negatively affects your health. (Image: Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Thomas)

Moderate consumption of alcohol provides health benefits especially to the heart, but excessive alcohol drinking can pose serious threats to your health. It can result to mild health conditions such as back pain, or severe ones like heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.

Significance

The most severe type of alcohol problem is alcoholism or alcohol dependence. It is not the quantity of drinking that makes a person an alcohol dependent, but the reaction of the person’s body to alcohol. Alcoholism is associated to many adverse health conditions.

A 1986 study entitled “The Relationship between Alcohol Abuse and Low Back Pain” published in oxfordjournals.com found no correlation between alcohol consumption and back pain, but nevertheless concluded that increased alcohol consumption may be a contributing factor.

Effects of Alcoholism

According to Mayoclinic.com, alcoholism may lead to complications such as liver disorders, cardiovascular problems, bone loss, neurological complications, erectile dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems and increased risk of cancer.

Other Causes of Back Pain

There is no single identifiable cause of back pain. WebMD.com notes that back pain may be a result of an acquired condition such as scoliosis, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis or a spinal stenosis. It can also be a result of a tumor, injury or other problems such as muscle strain and spasm.

Managing Back Pain

Knowing the cause of your condition can help a lot so you can take steps to alleviate back pain. As there is no single source of back pain, there is also no single effective treatment for it. Doctors usually prescribe a combination of drugs, physical therapy, rest and exercises to treat their patients. If you notice that drinking alcohol gives you back pain, try to limit your consumption and consult a doctor immediately.

Alcoholism Treatment

Mayoclinic.com explains that alcoholics need social support and motivation to completely and permanently withdraw from their vice. Without these, they may tend to relapse within a few years. Treatment can only begin after an alcoholic accepts that there is a problem and that he needs to stop drinking. He must understand that his condition can be cured. For this to happen, he must be motivated to change.

Residential alcoholism treatment programs are available in the U.S. These programs typically include counseling, detoxification, withdrawal, psychological support, psychiatric treatment, medical assessment and emphasis on the importance of abstinence. Aftercare programs are also available to help maintain the lifestyle that an alcoholic wants to achieve.

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