Pain – it can come in the form of a dull ache that occurs occasionally but doesn’t prevent you from going about your day. It can also come in the form of a sudden, sharp stab that comes and goes. Sometimes, the pain is manageable and benign. Other times, however, it can be a serious cause for concern and sometimes even life-threatening.
Pain is something that every person experiences in their own individual way. This means that, while certain pain management techniques may work for someone, that doesn’t necessarily mean that their method is the most suitable for managing your individual case. That said, there are certain methods and general guidelines when it comes to relieving pain and coping with it so that it doesn’t affect your quality of life. Below, everything you need to know about pain relief basics.
Main types of pain medicines
Analgesic drugs or painkillers are something many of us turn to at some point in their lives. While there are many non-medicine options for relieving pain such as physical therapies, acupuncture, heat/ice packs, and yoga, sometimes, managing pain will sometimes require you to rely on a pain medicine.
Some pain relievers will require a prescription from a doctor while others are available over the counter. There are three main types of pain relievers: paracetamol, opioids, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil). NSAIDs are stronger compared to over-the-counter or OTC pain relievers, while opioids are reserved for individuals suffering from severe pain.
Examples of opioids include morphine, codeine, and oxycodone. Sometimes, managing pain will involve using other drugs such as antidepressants, local anesthetics, muscle relaxers, and certain anti-epileptic medicines.
How pain relievers work
The effects you experience will largely depend on the type of pain reliever you use. Different pain relievers work in different ways. Aspirin and NSAIDs work by reducing production of prostaglandins, chemicals that cause swelling and inflammation in the area that was damaged or injured. Opioids work by reducing pain while producing a feeling of euphoria, which increases the risk of becoming addicted to opioids.
There are also advanced nutrition products that work by reducing joint pain while simultaneously supporting the body’s response to elevated CRP (C-reactive protein), which is a marker of inflammation in the body. Such products can provide natural pain relief while also providing support to heart, breast, and joint health. The type of pain reliever you choose will depend on your unique needs and areas of concern. Which brings us to our next point…
How to choose the right pain medicine?
The type of painkiller you select will depend on several factors. For starters, you’ll have to consider whether the pain is chronic or acute. Other than the type of pain, you’ll also need to factor in its severity, duration, location, and cause. Also, think about the activities that make it better or worse and the ways this pain affects your lifestyle (quality of sleep, appetite, etc.).
When talking to a health professional, make sure to mention any other medicines that you’re taking (if any). The same goes for any health problems and medical conditions you may have. Your doctor will keep this in mind while selecting the type of painkiller to prescribe to you. As a result, you’ll get a pain relief option that’s safe, effective, and suitable for your individual needs and concerns.
Effective management of medicines
Once your doctor has prescribed the right type of pain reliever, you will need to follow the instructions in order to manage your medicines effectively and safely. Not only will this ensure more effective pain management, but it will also minimize the risk of experiencing side effects. Sometimes, side effects will happen, and it will usually be a result of taking medicines for a long time. In that case, it’s best that you consult with your pharmacist or doctor.
Taking medicines alone is helpful in reducing pain, but it’s best if you don’t rely solely on them. For best results, it’s advisable that you incorporate certain strategies into your daily routine to lower your pain levels. Keep moving, whether that means running, swimming, or biking. Consider relying on relaxation techniques such as meditation and breathing exercises and experiment with different coping strategies. Other pain management techniques to keep in mind include physical and occupational therapy, massage therapy, as well as counseling.
Not all pain is the same. While some conditions may be managed with non-medicine treatments, others will require the use of pain relievers to reduce pain. By using the right pain relievers and relying on additional, non-medicine treatments, you’ll be able to manage pain more effectively and consequently ensure a higher quality of life.
Taylor Parker is an American based writer and blogger. She is very passionate about family, fashion, health, and lifestyle. Taylor writes mostly lifestyle articles, but also you’ll find her in home improvement and other niches.