Here is a checklist of some of your options for quick and effective pain relief.
Drugs: The whole point of drug therapy is to provide quick pain relief.
Over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin can be effective, although
do remember that pain-killers will not help the underlying problem.
Hydrotherapy: Water undoubtedly has a soothing effect on aching
joints, although the effect can be very temporary. Baths, spas, tanks,
hot springs and tubs can all give that instant relief, especially if
the water is warm. Interestingly, cold water works better on inflamed
joints, such as with rheumatoid arthritis—provided you can stand it.
Magnetic therapy and thermomagnetic bandages: Magnetic therapy
as a means of alleviating pain is well established in countries such as
India, Japan, China, Austria and Germany, where many people sleep on
magnetic beds and wear small magnets.
Advocates say that, for a magnetic to be effective, the north, or
negative, pole should face the skin. Some also say that the effect is
cumulative, and that small magnets worn for a short time are unlikely
to be effective.
Thermotherapy and cryotherapy: Thermotherapy involves any heat
treatment, including compresses, heat packs, and lamps. The heat helps
tensed muscles to relax, so reducing the pain. Even if you don’t have a
special lamp, the good old hot water bottle can help. One professional
application is ultrasound, which will be given for two minutes on
average, and never longer than 10 minutes. Unlike the other heat
therapies, ultrasound can go much deeper, and can raise the temperature
of the tissues of underneath the surface muscles. You are most likely
to encounter ultrasound if you visit a physical therapist or a
Acupuncture/TENS: Acupuncture is a popular pain reliever,
although reports vary as to its effectiveness. One meta-analysis of 12
studies found it to be 2.3 times as effective as other pain-relieving
treatments. However, as a placebo was 1.3 times as effective as some
other treatments, it may be that the mind/body link is a powerful
constituent when it comes to pain relief. Transcutaneous Electrical
Nerve Stimulation (TENS) harnesses the therapeutic power of electricity
to reduce pain. Electrode-tipped wires are placed on your skin at
specific points, and around where the pain is. The effect is almost
immediate, and some report that it can last for days. However, others
report skin irritations, and it’s important the settings are right.
Herbal medicine: Herbal medicine offers many pain-relieving remedies. One of the most successful is willow (Salix) bark.
Homeopathy: As with herbal medicine, homeopathy offers a range
of treatments for pain relief. Researchers tested the homeopathic gel
Spiroflor SRL against a standard painkiller on 161 patients suffering
from acute pain. The homeopathic remedy was as effective, and came
without the adverse reactions reported with the painkiller.
Back to How You Beat Pain