1. Opioid drugs do little for low back pain

    Powerful painkillers don't ease low back pain

    There's nothing like when the grandkids come over for a visit. It's like having kids all over again -- except someone else does all the hard work while you get the fun parts.

    The moment they leap into your arms, all you feel is love.

    And the moment you put them down, you feel something else: back pain... and lots of it!

    When back pain gets bad... or when it doesn't go away... you might find yourself begging your doctor for a little help -- and that, my friend, is exactly how millions of Americans just like you end up on powerful and addictive opioid painkillers.

    But more power doesn't mean more relief -- because new research shows how the drugs won't kill your low back pain... but they could kill YOU!

    The new review of 20 clinical trials involving 7,295 patients finds that while the drugs can bring a little relief, it's not enough to be considered meaningful by any stretch of the term.

    In some studies, up to 75 percent of patients dropped out either because the drugs didn't work or because they came with terrible side effects.

    They're the lucky ones.

    The others -- the ones who stay with the drugs -- face the worst side effects of all: addiction and even death.

    Two-thirds of all overdose visits to emergency rooms involve painkillers. And every year, close to 20,000 Americans die because of opioid painkillers.

    That's almost double the number of Americans killed by heroin!

    The mainstream is finally starting to wise up to the risks of opioid painkillers, with a new call to limit their use -- but those same talking heads are no closer to offering up REAL solutions to chronic pain problems such as low back pain.

    Right now, they're urging patients to simply take drugs such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen -- and while they aren't as dangerous as opioids, they still come with plenty of risks.

    One study just last year found NSAIDs such as naproxen can increase the risk of blood clots, while Tylenol overdose is the nation's leading cause of acute liver failure.

    You don't have to face those risks to get the relief you're looking for -- because you can fight pain with natural therapies such as topical DMSO as well as nondrug inflammation-fighters such as curcumin.

    For even more relief -- especially from long-term pain problems -- combine these supplements with acupuncture, chiropractic, and cold laser.

  2. Opioid painkillers linked to low testosterone levels

    Painkillers linked to sex problems

    One day, you're battling back pain. The next, it's everything from memory loss to physical weakness to erection problems and low testosterone levels.

    "Well, that's it," you might think to yourself. "I guess I'm just falling apart!"

    I can't tell you how often I've heard that from my own patients, especially first-timers who've come to me after getting nowhere with a mainstream doctor. And if you've ever felt that way yourself, I have some good news for you today: You're not falling apart.

    In fact, the problem may not even be you at all.

    It's your meds -- because the painkillers given for chronic conditions such as back pain can lead to a downward spiral of poor health, and new research shows how it can even ruin your sex life.

    Men who take opioid painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone have a 50 percent higher risk of both low testosterone levels and bedroom problems, according to the study of 11,327 men with back pain.

    It doesn't take long before those risks kick in, either -- just three months of normal use. And for the highest doses (120 mg of morphine-equivalent drugs per day or more), those risks kick in almost immediately, according to the study in the journal Spine.

    But low testosterone levels and bedroom problems are risks you don't have to face yourself.

    In many cases, opioid painkillers aren't even necessary in the first place. I find that nondrug treatments such as acupuncture, natural anti-inflammatories, and cold laser can often bring real and lasting pain relief.

    (Prescription meds such as opioid painkillers kill more Americans than illegal drugs. Shocked? Click here to learn more.)

    And in the rare cases where opioid drugs are needed, they should be restricted to the lowest dose for the shortest period to prevent low testosterone-- a stopgap measure to manage severe pain while you and your doctor work on finding and correcting the cause of your pain.

    Of course, even if you take no painkillers at all, you could still find yourself battling low testosterone levels and everything that comes along with it -- including erection problems, memory loss, and general weakness.

    So if you're on one of these drugs and you feel like you're falling apart (or worse) don't worry, a holistic physician can put you back together with a natural testosterone replacement regimen. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help -- because I happen to run one of the most complete hormone testing and treatment programs around.

    Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

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