Sometimes you just need a bit of pain relief. Whether it’s sore muscles, a bad bruise, a killer headache or whatever else, you’d rather it just not hurt so bad.
Thankfully, there are plentiful over-the-counter remedies available as generics to help relieve your pain. There are also a few natural solutions that many people swear by when it comes to pain remedies. We’ll highlight a few of the most popular so you can make an informed choice!
Best Over the Counter (or Natural) Pain Remedies
The brand name versions of this drug are Advil or Motrin. It’s been clinically tested with a nearly 9 out of 10 rate of people feeling it’s worth taking. It could upset your stomach, so make sure you take it with food. Also, it could cause kidney damage, so don’t take it if you’ve got a history of kidney problems!
Many swear by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric. It’s been shown to help with upset stomach, indigestion, and even help as part of treatment for more serious conditions. It could even help with common aches and pains. If you’re the type who doesn’t tend to like taking pills, try this out the next time you’ve got a sore muscle!
Aspirin is one of the most well-known pain relievers, often found in the brand-name Alka-Seltzer. In its various forms, it can be either a pain reliever or an indigestion aid. Children under 12 should avoid aspirin, though, as it could be harmful to the liver if taken too much. Keep in mind this is aspirin with a lower-case a, which is different from the version from Bayer with a capital A.
Natural: Heat and Ice Application
The pain-relieving qualities of applying heat and/or ice to a sore area are well-document. However, be careful when applying hot or cold items to your body! Apply heat to an area if it is stiff or if your pain is arthritic. Conversely, ice can help reduce swelling and cut back on inflammation. Athletes swear by this pain-relieving method! Speak to a physician about how this natural remedy could be applied to your aches or pains if you’re hurt.
The brand name Aspirin, which is different from Alka-Seltzer’s version, is another well-known pain remedy. It can reduce fever, as well, and is even known to have helpful effects in those with heart disease. However, keep in mind that it is a blood-thinner. If you’re at risk for internal bleeding, stick with ibuprofen or one of the natural pain remedies!
Seeking pain relief from an acupuncturist may seem silly at first, but it’s a well-documented and ancient practice. The Chinese art helps relieve pain through a process known as qi manipulation, altering the path of your body’s natural energies. Scientific study of the practice has found that the pain-relieving qualities are a result of the serotonin released by the sensation of the needles being driven into your skin. Either way, it’s been proven to help in some cases!
This medicine works by affecting the part of your brain that controls temperature and regulates pain messages. As such, it doesn’t alter the physical causes of your pain, but instead tricks you into not feeling the pain. While that might sound scary, it’s quite safe! Prolonged sessions of taking acetaminophen can lead to liver damage, though, so be aware! Just take enough to ease your pain, don’t overdo it.
There are a few ways to go about this, whether with a cryotherapy chamber or just an ice bath. The idea behind cryotherapy is that, by shocking your body with cold, you make your body produce special type of protein. These cold-shock proteins have anti-inflammatory properties that can help naturally fight pain!
Those with a history of heart disease may prefer naproxen over ibuprofen. Naproxen is good for treating general aches and pains, as it is an anti-inflammatory. It does run the same risk of upsetting the stomach that many other over-the-counter pain remedies, so take it with food!
Natural: Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy
The theory behind PEFT is that using electromagnetic fields to stimulate natural anti-inflammatory compounds. While it sounds high-tech, you can actually get the treatment for between $30 and $60 from a physical therapist or chiropractor. If you want a machine in your own home, they’re a bit pricey: they run around $1500 on the low end.