Pain is a very common discomfort in our body. The occurrence of this discomfort rises as people with pain get older. According to experts, women are more likely to feel pain than men.
Types of pain
There are two major types of pain;
- Acute pain: This pain is short in duration and typically occurs due to an injury or medical condition.
- Chronic pain: This pain continues beyond the duration expected for healing. Sometimes, it occurs due to chronic health conditions or when acute pain is not treated on time.
Pain may be anything from a sharp stab to a dull ache and range from mild to severe. Some types of pain can affect your entire body, while others can be experienced in only one part of your body.
Pain Management Strategies
Medical researches suggest that an individual’s emotional wellbeing can impact the experience of pain. Understanding the root cause and learning about effective ways to manage pain can improve your quality of life.
- Primary pain management strategies may include;
- Physical therapies like heat or cold packs, massage, and exercise;
- Pain medicines;
- Mind and body techniques;
- Psychological therapies like CBT and relaxation techniques;
- Community support groups, etc.
Causes of Pain
The most common causes of pain can include;
- Medical conditions like cancer, back problems, and arthritis;
- Surgery, etc.
How pain affects the body
Pain, both acute and chronic, is a complex protective mechanism. It is a crucial part of evolution that protects your body from harm and danger.
Our body has pain receptors attached to two major types of nerves that detect danger. One nerve relays messages quickly, producing a sharp, sudden pain. While the other nerve relays the message slowly, creating a dull, throbbing pain.
Pain Management Without Using Medicines
A number of non-medicine treatment options are available to help you manage your pain. However, a combination of medicines and therapies is often more effective than just applying one.
Some of the best non-medicine treatments may include;
Heat or cold: You may use ice packs immediately after an injury or something wrong to reduce swelling. Also, heat packs can help you relieve your muscle or joint pain.
Physical therapies: Some physical therapies like stretching, walking, aerobic exercise may help reduce the severity of pain and improve your physical health.
Massage: Massage may be another alternative to treat pains without using medicines. This treatment is suitable for pain caused by a soft tissue injury but should be avoided in pain of joints.
CBT or congenital behavioral therapy: It is a psychological way to manage pains. CBT can help you learn to change how you think and, in turn, how you behave.
Stress management and relaxation techniques: Techniques like meditation and yoga can also help you feel less pain.
Pain Management using Medicines
Sometimes, non-medicine options are ineffective and cannot treat your pain adequately. In these situations, doctors recommend analgesics like OTC medicines or prescription drugs.
Some major types of pain medicines may include;
- Paracetamol: Paracetamols are less potent analgesics often used as the first medicine to treat pain.
- Aspirin: This medication is used to treat a combination of short-term pain and fever, such as period pain or headache.
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDS: NSAIDS like ibuprofen are medicines to relieve both pain and inflammation (swelling or redness).
- Opioid analgesics: Opioids like morphine, codeine, hydrocodone, or oxycodone prevent moderate to moderately severe pains.
- Local anesthetics: Local alternates like sprays, creams, injections may also be used to treat several types of pains.
- Antidepressants: These medications can be used for the management of nerve pain.
How pain medicines work
Pain relievers work in many ways. NSAIDs and aspirin are pain killers that help to reduce fever and inflammation. They work by stopping chemicals called prostaglandins which cause inflammation or swelling.
Opioid medications work in different ways. They alter the way our brain reacts to pain messages. You can buy opioids like codeine online to get fast relief from chronic pains.
Choosing the right medications
The proper selection of pain medicines for you will depend on;
- Activities that ease the pain;
- The location, duration, and intensity of pain;
- Your other medical conditions;
- The impact of your pain;
- Other medicines you take, etc.
Discuss these points with your doctor or pharmacist to choose the best and effective pain relief option.
Side effects of pain medicines
Some common side effects of pain medicines can include the following;
- Aspirin: Most typical side effects may include vomiting, nausea, stomach ulcer, and indigestion. Other severe side effects like an asthma attack, kidney damage, and tinnitus are also possible.
- Paracetamol: Paracetamol can cause side effects like skin rashes, liver damage, etc.
- NSAIDs: These medications can cause nausea, headache, stomach upset headache, skin rash, heartburn, etc. They can also cause serious side effects like heart failure, kidney failure, etc.
- Opioids: Narcotic products can cause common side effects like confusion, nausea, drowsiness, voting, and constipation, etc. Coordination and balance issues may also occur as serious side effects.
Withdrawal Symptoms may also occur in nausea, constipation, and headache. Please let your doctor or pharmacist know if you experience severe side effects after taking painkillers.