If you were designing a body, the idea of pain would be one of the first to patent. People need a warning system to tell them when something is wrong. Think “smoke detector” and you have the message you need when it is needed most. So, if you are having a heart attack or someone just stabbed you with a knife, pain is there to tell you to make tracks for the Emergency Room at warp speed. Unfortunately, the clever guy who thought up this alarm bell system forgot one thing. For those of you who have spent a weekend living next to a house with a burglar alarm that will not stop, you will understand the need for an off-switch. Pain is great for the first five seconds. But when we have the message and are acting on it, the pain should go away.
Once people recognize that the pain is going to be around for a while, the psychology of the experience becomes more important. For example, if you break a leg, a doctor tells you this will self-repair in a few weeks and, over this time, the pain will slowly fade away. This allows you to stay calm. Optimism is easy to maintain when you are confident the pain will go. But if the news from the medical experts is the pain will be around for the immediately foreseeable future, it is a lot more difficult to avoid depression. That is what makes an analgesic so important. If you can manage the pain and keep it within bearable limits, life can go on more or less as before and you can still get some enjoyment out of it.
So now comes the $64,000 question. How much pain killer should you take? Some people are naturally able to tolerate pain. Others seem to find even the slightest pain unbearable. Depending on your attitude and pain threshold, you will therefore either take a little or a lot. Except there are problems if you take a lot of the more powerful pain killers like tramadol. There is a terrible temptation to keep increasing the dose if the pain does not stay within your threshold. Yet this risks two things. The first is addiction. Should treatment finally produce a cure and you want to stop taking tramadol, you may find it difficult. Many who have taken this drug at high dosage over a long period of time experience withdrawal symptoms. Even those who reduce their dosage over time can find it difficult to stop completely. The second problem is overdose. If you take too much, it can be fatal.
The message is to learn to live within the limits of the pain without resorting to the bottle of pills at every twinge. Tramadol is one of the most effective analgesics on the market over the short term at controlled dosage. You should always follow the advice of your doctor when taking it. One option to consider is behavioral therapy. This teaches coping strategies and enables people to rebuild their quality of life without becoming dependent on pain killers.