All about pain ...
Everyone experiences pain at some time in their lives; some people are lucky and only feel pain occasionally, and some people live with it every single day. The good news is that there are lots of different ways to manage pain, and stop it interfering with your enjoyment of life. Our qualified totalhealth advisers are here to help and they can give you expert advice on choosing the best solution for your pain, so talk to us today.
Pain is usually split into two categories:
Acute - pain that quickly goes away, usually in fewer than 3 days. Examples include the occasional headache or a sprained ankle.
Chronic - pain that goes on for a long time, usually more than 12 weeks, or pain that goes on longer than expected after a period of healing.
eg arthritis sufferers
Over the Counter Painkillers
If you buy painkillers over the counter, you are most likely to either buy paracetamol or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), such as ibuprofen or diclofenac. These are all available without a prescription and will give you pain relief, but it's recommended that you start with paracetamol first, as it usually has fewer side effects.
Paracetamol can be used to relieve mild-to-moderate pain, such as a headache, a sore throat, a sprain or a toothache. If you have swelling or inflammation in your muscles or joints as well as pain, an NSAID may be a good choice as it can reduce inflammation as well as relieve pain.
TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. These handy portable machines work by sending small painless electrical pulses through your skin and along your nerve fibres via self-adhesive pads. You can vary the intensity of these pulses, and they work in two ways to help to reduce pain. They block the pain signals that your body sends to your brain, and they stimulate your body to make more of its own natural painkillers (called endorphins), so if you don't want to take medication, a TENS machine could be considered a good alternative in certain circumstances. For more information on TENS machines, ask our qualified Feelys totalhealth advisors - they are there to give helpful friendly advice.
Other forms of pain relief You don't always have to take pills to reduce pain; it all depends on what caused it in the first place. There are plenty of other methods to try including gels and gel pads, wraps, supports, sprays and even electrical devices such as a TENS machine (see inside).
Gels, wraps and sprays generally work by heating or cooling the affected area to soothe it, and some products have ibuprofen or similar ingredients in them - these are quickly absorbed through the skin to reduce inflammation at the site of the pain.
Ask your Feelys totalhealth Pharmacy advisor to show you the range of gels, wraps and sprays that might suit your needs. If you are in severe pain, or the pain lasts for more than a few days, you would be best advised to visit your doctor. He or she may need to prescribe stronger medication that is only available on a prescription.
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