When Pain Strikes

 

When Pain Strikes

 

A Quick Guide To Pain Relief When Pain Strikes:

When pain strikes it can be all too common to immediately reach for the medicine cabinet. Our advice is to think before you take any medicines. Understand first what you are taking before you take it. Make sure it will be an effective pain relief for the pain you have.

Don’t prolong the use of pain killers as they will only mask the real problems. Visit your physician. The last thing you want to do is cause yourself more damage. In the meantime, here’s our quick guide to pain relief types.

 

1 – For Headaches

 

Best OTC (over the counter) options

Start with paracetamol (Panado) or an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen (Nurofen) or aspirin (Disprin). For a killer headache, try a med that contains caffeine.

Safe limit

Follow the dosage instructions.

Good to know

Wash NSAIDs down with coffee or tea (sans milk). Studies show caffeine boosts the drug’s effectiveness.

If you need more relief

If you have two or more headaches a week that interfere with your life, they may be migraines that require a prescription med.

 

2 – For Fever (sore throat and Flu)

 

Best OTC options

Paracetamol or NSAIDs. Start with paracetamol; NSAIDs can irritate your stomach.

Safe limit

Paracetamol: up to 4 000mg a day for up to three days. Ibuprofen: up to 1 200mg a day for up to 10 days.

Good to know

Don’t OD by mistake– lots of cold and flu remedies (including Med-Lemon) also contain these meds. Read the labels.

If you need more relief

Bed rest and drinking plenty of fluids are the best ways to ensure your body beats the virus as quickly as possible.

 

3 – For Sore Muscles

 

Best OTC option

Paracetamol

Safe limit

Up to 4 000mg a day for up to three days.

Good to know

Skip ibuprofen and other NSAIDs. Research suggests that prostaglandins (messenger molecules in the body) help muscles heal, and these drugs suppress prostaglandin production.

If you need more relief

Try hot- and cold-packs or compression (wrapping the area). For severe pain, your doctor may give you a prescription strength painkiller.

 

4 – For Chronic Pain

 

Best OTC options

Paracetamol or NSAIDs for flare-ups. Taken continuously, NSAIDs can irritate the stomach and paracetamol is potentially toxic to the liver.

Safe limit

Paracetamol: up to 4000mg a day for up to three days. Ibuprofen: up to 1 200mg a day for up to 10 days. Take higher doses only with a doctor’s go-ahead.

Good to know

NSAIDs may weaken the stomach’s lining and can cause ulcers.

If you need more relief

See your doctor for pain that lasts longer than a month. Acupuncture, exercise and massage may help.

 

5 – For Menstrual Cramps

 

Best OTC options

NSAIDs, especially naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen; they cut the production of cramp-causing prostaglandins.

Safe limit

Naproxen: up to 600mg a day for up to 10 days. Ibuprofen: up to 1 200mg a day for up to 10 days.

Good to know

Start taking the meds a few days before your period is due.

If you need more relief

Heating pads or a good old fashioned hot water bottle can ease muscle pain.

 

When pain strikes, always take precautionary measures. Do not think you can just exercise through the pain. Lower the intensity of any exercise you do. Obviously, the recommendation is to refrain from all exertion until the pain has gone.