There are many pain relief products on the market that do not involve medications, which makes them ideal to use in conjunction with medication-based treatments or as a standalone treatment. Although the appropriate strategy will depend on your pain concerns, there are ways to find an effective approach for your needs and type of pain.
Consider Your Activities
You will likely want to choose different pain relief methods at different times throughout the day. For example, if you are active or work outside the home, odor-free topical creams are the best strategy. You can discreetly rub them into the skin at any time and avoid the infamous scent of certain topical ointments. Self-adhesive heating pads and patches are better for lounging around your house.
Although self-adhesive products are supposed to stay on your skin throughout normal activities, the adhesive will typically wear off throughout the day, making it difficult for the product to say on. If you choose to wear a patch while away from home, make sure you have snug-fitting garments to help hold the patch in place. For example, if you are wearing a self-adhesive heating pad for menstrual cramps, snug-fitting briefs will typically keep the pad secure even if the adhesive no longer works. Medical-grade tape is another option to secure patches.
Choose Ingredients Wisely
You need to consider the type of pain you are experiencing before selecting a product. Some products contain menthol, which will create a cooling effect. Unfortunately, this can make some types of pain worse, such as the aching or throbbing pains associated with arthritis or muscle cramps. If you are experiencing various types of pain in the same area, you likely want to alternate between the methods you use.
It is better to alternate between a heating pad and ice pack when you have arthritic pain combined with swelling. If your pain is purely attributed to tight muscles or is soothed with heat, consider creams or patches containing capsaicin, which is the ingredient found in peppers. Other pain relief ingredients found in retail products include turmeric and emu oil. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it ideal for arthritis or muscle pain.
Try Electrical Stimulation
When topical creams and conventional hot and cold therapies are not enough, it may be time to consider retail electrical stimulation devices to help alleviate pain. Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) units were only available with a prescription, but now they are readily available in stores. The unit may have one or more electrodes that adhere to the skin and send electrical pulses to the painful area.
Most units are battery-operated, which makes them ideal for use at work or while you are doing other activities throughout the day. You can also alternate between using your TENS unit and other topical pain relief methods. Adding a TENS unit to your pain relief strategy can help your overall approach to pain management work better. Using multiple ways to help alleviate pain can reduce your chances of becoming desensitized to any single method.
When you want to avoid medications, or they are not enough to help alleviate pain, consider the variety of non-medication pain relief methods available, that can be purchased at a location like Icon Health. Try different combinations of ingredients or methods of application to find the best strategy for your needs.
During my first pregnancy, I spent a lot of time pushing pillows behind my back trying to find comfort. As the size of the baby grew, so did my discomfort. By the time she was born, I was more than ready to give birth. When I found out I was pregnant again, I was determined that I would not suffer through the same discomforts. I started researching ways to ease the symptoms of pregnancy, including back pain. I created this blog to help other expectant moms find remedies to deal with those symptoms that can be emotionally and physically draining.