I have been hearing this debate way too much as many people are saying there is no difference between medicine and painkillers because painkillers are also considered medicine. I would argue by saying, so if it is also medicine than why give it a different name? However, that is a weak argument, to say the least. My whole family is full of Doctors so I have quite a wide knowledge when it comes to medical stuff. let’s take a look at a more complex description of the term ‘medicine’ before going deeper onto painkillers.
What do we consider Medicine?
Medicine is something that will have a biological effect on your organism to the point where your organism will start acting differently according to the type of medicine you have taken. Medicine comes in many different forms from tablets and pills to injectable liquid. We usually use medicine when we have a cold or an infection that our white blood cells (immune cells) are not able to combat on their own and therefore the immune system needs reinforcement. Medicine does not relieve pain however it can cure pain for good in some cases. In most cases, medicine can be used with painkillers with the exception of the patient being allergic to the painkillers themselves and also the exception of some powerful medicine which does not go well in combination with painkillers as it can have serious side effects.
What do we consider Painkiller?
Painkillers usually come in the form of pills that we take to trick our stimulus to not send any more pain sense towards the pain. This has more of a psychological effect because the organism is tricked to not feel pain anymore. Painkillers are only able to remove pain temporarily but they are not able to cure pain. Painkillers do not have any potential of reinforcing the immune system of the body (with the exception of some specialized medicine that is a combination of both the medicine itself and a painkiller at the same time). Painkillers can have serious effects depending on your organism, some organisms have resistance to painkillers, therefore, they are not effective whereas, for some organisms, the painkiller can be so powerful it can lead to various negative side effects.
A good example that I hear most of the time would be taking painkillers for back pain. Yes, as long as you keep taking those painkillers the pain will not come back, however, the actual back problem itself will never be cured. In some cases taking painkillers can aggravate the problem causing more damage to your body as well as the immune system. What you are doing at that point is just tricking the nerve that causes pain to not send any more signals to the brain which causes the pain to signal a back problem. It is imperative to understand that pain is an alarm that the brain is offering you to let you know that something isn’t right. It has been proven that a long term use of painkillers can numb the nerves to the point where you can suffer stage 1 nerve paralyses.
We should not associate these two as the same because they are two different things, it is true that they can be combined together but, this does not mean that they are the same thing.