When you get a sports injury, the pain associated with this injury can often lead someone to be prescribed pain medication from a doctor. This pain medication is meant to help the injured patient manage their pain until they’re completely healed. However, because pain medication can be very addictive, it’s important that you know what to do to avoid becoming addicted or know how to get help if your health becomes compromised. So to help you stay as healthy as possible while recovering from an injury, here are three ways you can safely use pain medication after a sports injury.
Only Use As Directed
When you’re prescribed pain medication from your doctor, you’ll likely be given very strict directions on how and when to take the medication. To safely use this medicine, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends only using your prescribed medication as directed. This means that you don’t take it more often than you should and you don’t take a bigger dose than you should. If you’re having a problem with managing your pain with the prescription you’ve been given, speak to your doctor before making any changes. He or she will be able to help you come up with another option, either in dosage or a different medication, to help you better control the pain you’re feeling.
Wean Yourself Off With A Doctor’s Help
If your injury is going to keep you in a lot of pain for a while, you may have a long prescription or multiple refills for your medication. While this can be helpful for pain management, the longer you’re taking narcotic medication, the more at risk you become for developing an addiction. So if you begin to feel that you may be too dependent on the pain medication after a certain point, Teresa Carr, a contributor to Consumer Reports, suggests asking for your doctor’s help to wean you off of this medication. This may mean slowly lowering your dosage or lengthening the time between taking more medicine. This tactic can be a great help in avoiding both addiction and withdrawal symptoms.
Practice Proper Disposal
Once you’re done with taking your medicine, it’s important that you dispose of any unused pills in the proper manner. According to the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, you shouldn’t flush your pills down the sink or toilet because they can get in the water system. Rather, you should look for collection areas where you can drop off your pills to be properly disposed of by the correct authorities. If you neglect to dispose of your unused pills, they could be found by someone they weren’t intended for and potentially be used for nefarious purposes.
If you’re worried about how to keep yourself safe while taking pain medication, use the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.