Taking an opioid to manage your pain?

For those of us who play a lot of sports, we know we’ll probably get injured at some point. Whether it’s a rolled-ankle, a jarred elbow or a sore shoulder, it can be hard to keep doing everyday tasks when we’re in pain.


We may need opioid pain medications like codeine for a short time after we’ve had a very bad injury.[i]


For most people, if opioid medications are taken for a long time though, it’ll make it even harder to get back in the game because we can develop unwanted side-effects like tolerance, dependence and addiction.


Evidence also shows that if we use opioids continuously for a long time, they can actually increase our pain.[ii]


If you’re about to start using or have been prescribed an opioid medication, make a plan about how and when to safely stop with your doctor. Download a medication action plan to start the conversation.


It’s easy to think we won’t have any of these side-effects, but physical dependence on a medication is a health condition doesn’t pick and choose. It can start with simply trying to stay in the game.


The good news is, there are other safer and effective ways to get on top of our pain.


Download a pain medication action plan now to start the conversation with your health professional.


Find other strategies to help manage your pain.


Medication dependence can happen to anyone. Find out more about getting support.


[i] Chang, A. K., Bijur, P. E., Esses, D. et al ‘Effect of a Single Dose of Oral Opioid and Nonopioid Analgesics on Acute Extremity Pain in the Emergency Department. A Randomized Clinical Trial’, JAMA, Vol 318, 2017. Accessed March 2019:


[ii] Lee, M., Silverman, SM., Hansen, H., Patel, VB., Manchikanti, L., ‘A Comprehensive Review of Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia’, Pain Physician, Vol 2, Mar-Apr 2011. Accessed March 2019: