In recent studies, it has been shown that 20.4% of adults in the United States are living with chronic pain. That is an estimated 50 million people. Furthermore, 8% or 19 million adults are living with high impact chronic pain. These numbers are just a reflection of what is happening in the United States only. The story is the same all around the world. Many people are living in pain due to various conditions like arthritis and terminal illnesses like cancer. For this population, painkillers are the only way to cope with the pain in normal life.
Pain is a general term that refers to a wide range of unfriendly physical sensations. These sensations can be simply uncomfortable or a larger degree, excruciating. It goes without saying that pain can have a debilitating effect on the quality of life of individuals. Pain can be either acute or chronic. Acute pain is a sudden pain that disappears and may reappear once in a while. It is usually an intense and burning sensation. Chronic pain is long lasting pain that never goes away. There are a number of medications prescribed in the medical field to treat the pain or help people cope with the pain in their daily life.
Klonopin belongs to a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines. These drugs are characterized by their ability to slow nerve messages in the central nervous system of the brain. The functioning mechanism of the Klonopin that results in the slow nerve signals is not yet known but it is believed that it has the capacity to increase the activity of major inhibitory neurotransmitters in the brain. As a result, nerve messages are slowed down. This is an important attribute of Klonopin when it comes to understanding its role in treatment.
In the mainstream, Klonopin is used to treat seizures and panic attacks. Sometimes, it has been used to treat tremors. It is also used occasionally to manage pain and spasticity in conditions like multiple sclerosis.
Tremors are involuntary and uncontrolled movements of the body or parts of the body. Tremors manifest commonly as twitching, jerking, shaky or trembling movements. Tremors are a common symptom of several neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). In some of the conditions, tremors can be accompanied by other symptoms like ataxia where a patient has difficulty in coordinating body movements. As such, patients have a problem with gait and balance which prevents them from carrying out normal activities like eating. In addition, patients who occasionally suffer from tremors can fall because of lacking balance and coordination of their body. Klonopin is very helpful in such situations because it not only helps to treat the tremors but also the pain that may result from incidents involving tremors.
It is common to find patients with multiple sclerosis complaining of pain. Generally, MS is marked by two kinds of pain. First we have neuropathic pain or the nerve pain. This pain is as a result of damage to the spinal cord and the nerves in the brain. MS patients with nerve pain feel as though there are needles or pins pricking them. Nerve pain is experienced through painful sensations in the side of the face, limbs or chest. The second kind of pain is the musculoskeletal or nociceptive pain. This is caused by damage to the muscles, tendons, ligaments and soft tissue.
Even with the kind of pain explained above, patients can still suffer pain due to various reasons including side effects of medication, infections and injuries unassociated with MS. Regardless of the cause, Klonopin can be prescribed for pain relief. In some cases, the medications are combined with other forms of treatment like physiotherapy. Such a combination of treatments works best in most cases.
Klonopin can also help with muscle spasticity. This is a condition where the muscles feel stiff, heavy and difficult to move. Muscle spasms and spasticity can be painful at times. The pain often feels like a pulling or tugging of the muscles. This is experienced particularly around the joints. It can be perceived as a long lasting episode of a muscle cramp. Muscle spasms and spasticity can cause a person to alter how they are seated or lying which can cause pain. While Klonopin can help to treat such pain, other forms of treatment like movement and stretching exercises can help in pain management.
Overall, it is safe to say that Klonopin can indeed help with pain. However, it is primarily used to treat seizures in epileptic patients or tremors in MS patients. It is used to manage pain and muscle spasticity when other drugs have not been successful in treatment. Taking Klonopin can have some side effects including fatigue, weakening of the muscles, dizziness, feeling light-headed and drowsiness. It can also cause confusion and depression.
Breastfeeding mothers or people with severe liver and respiratory disorders should not take Klonopin for pain relief. Pregnant women should not take the drug as well. Combining Klonopin with other drugs is dangerous and can be very fatal. The drug should not be taken with alcohol or other drugs like antihistamines, sedatives or prescription painkillers. Furthermore, it should not be taken in combination with muscle relaxants or sleeping pills. Generally, one should talk to their doctor for directions before taking Klonopin. This will curtail a myriad of health problems that may arise if the drug is not taken properly.
Unfortunately, most people who start taking prescriptions for painkillers often find themselves addicted to the drugs. This includes Klonopin. As a matter of fact, prescription drugs are among the most abused drugs in the country. Therefore, it is important for people to take precaution when under prescription for painkillers. It is true that patients with some conditions cannot cope without painkillers especially those with terminal illnesses like MS. Nevertheless, patients should seek to dutifully follow the doctor’s instructions while supplementing medical treatment with other forms of non-drug treatments like physiotherapy in order to cope.