Pain is caused by a plethora of stimuli and there’s nothing better than pain relief. Some instances of pain are temporary, while some are chronic and can last a lifetime. Being able to design a pain management plan for your specific need requires understanding what options are available to us. There are a plethora of pain relief methods that can be advantageous to whatever pains you, but you should always consult your physician before undertaking any pain management plan.
We have all experienced some form of pain, but what exactly is it and how does our body respond to these stimuli? Our body is made up of three major systems: muscular system, skeletal system, and our nervous system. It’s the nervous system that detects what we feel as pain. Our nervous system is made up of two separate parts: the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of our brain and our spinal cord and our sensory and motor nerves make up the peripheral nervous system. All these systems work together to determine that some form of stimuli is inflicting something irregular to our body. Whether it is heat that results in a burn or stepping on a nail with your foot, our sensory nerve fibers respond differently to a variety of stimuli. Special pain receptors called nociceptors transmit signals to our brain that there has been some form of an injury and our brain sends the appropriate response to our body. You may have heard the terms acute or chronic pain and the main difference is chronic pain is a long-term issue whereas acute pain is a sudden onset of pain and dissipates after the injury heals.
Dealing with pain (acute or chronic) is dependent upon whatever the injury is and your personal tolerance levels. For minor aches and pains, NSAIDs may be all that is necessary for short-term, acute pain relief. These work to decrease inflammation as well as blocking the enzyme prostaglandin which plays a role in our body’s response to pain and inflammation. Many times these can be used in conjunction with lidocaine patches to help with local pain. Lidocaine is an anesthetic that can be used to numb tissue in a localized area. After overexertion of our muscles (which can leave our muscles painful or sore) the use of pain relief gel can be massaged into the affected area and creates a gentle heat which soothes affected muscles. Care should be taken not to rub these gels into sensitive areas. One method of pain management that might not be on most people’s radar is TENS therapy. These are similar to neuromuscular stimulators, but use electrical signals to confuse our pain receptors. The result is pain signals not being sent to our brain and therefore minimizing or eliminating any discomfort.
Think Outside the Box
There are alternatives to mainstream pain management that you might find helpful. Essential oil patches can be used in any comprehensive pain management plan. At some time in our lives just about everyone has experienced some form of foot pain due to either over exertion or just being on our feet too long. One simple way to alleviate this pain is through the use of pain relief orthotic inserts. It may be just the trick you need!! With arch support and cushioning you may be able to alleviate some everyday foot pain. Those of us that are weekend warriors often find that we overexert ourselves and require some form of pain relief on Monday. Many times sports tape (also known as kinesiology tape) can help us overcome minor muscle pain. Another alternative route for pain management is the use of pain relief light therapy. By using infrared light to stimulate blood flow and relieving muscle spasms we can alleviate pain associated with arthritis as well as other physical ailments.
We all experience pain during our lifetime. Understanding how our body reacts to stimuli and how we can overcome our body’s response to the painful environment around us can help us recover quickly and feel better. It’s this relief that leads to a better quality of life and our overall happiness!!
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Kevin Cleary has been a Health Products For You contributor for many years and has a degree in marketing. His health and wellness journey has a very personal meaning and has guided him in his content writing for HPFY.
In 2006, ...
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