Pain Relief Basics
Pain can affect a person’s daily life. This is not just a discomfort feeling but a feeling which can highly affect someone’s life. This may also cause anxiety and depression. Your overall health can also say a lot on how much you can feel pain. Chronic pain may be experienced in weeks or months and it can be resolved in weeks or months also.
There are methods to eliminate pain such as over-the-counter medicines, home remedies and sometimes surgery (invasive procedures).
Types of Pain
There are two (2) types of pain:
- Nociceptive Pain
This type of pain helps your nervous system to respond quickly to pain. An example of this is when you are having a sprained ankle. This pain forces you to stop what you are doing, taking some rest and gives time for the healing of the injury.
- Neuropathic Pain
This pain compares to the other one has no known benefits. This may be a misread signal from the nerves, spinal cord and brain. Each misread signal will be interpreted as pain by our brain. Some of these are diabetic neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome and postherpetic neuropathy.
Signs of Pain
The following signs may be considered a chronic pain and must be consulted to a doctor:
- Pain for two (2) to three (3) weeks
- Pain that causes anxiety, depression or stress
- Pain which makes someone to have trouble sleeping and relaxing
- Pain that is stopping you to perform daily activity or participate to normal activities
- Still experience pain despite the treatments
Experiencing chronic pain can be both challenging emotionally, mentally and physically. This is why different treatments and medications are prescribed to relieve pain.
Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications
Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers like ibuprofen, aspirin or acetaminophen can help you during headache, muscle pain, toothache, etc. OTC painkillers won’t leave you groggy, dizzy, or even constipated unlike prescription pain medications containing opioids. Since these are all cheap and easy to find, all pharmacies carry both branded and generic names which works well and are mainly cheaper.
Based on users’ real-life experiences with their medications., it turns out that most people find that OTC pain killers work very well — at least 75% of reviewers said every drug was worth it. With factors like effectiveness and side effects put into consideration, the survey reflects how well a medication worked for each reviewer. There are top five (5) OTC pain relievers people refer. These are based on 4000 people participated in the survey.
- Ibuprofen (@88%)
Ibuprofen(Advil, Motrin) a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that treats fever, pain and swelling. Ibuprofen works thirty (30) to sixty (60) minutes after intake. To prevent an upset stomach, it is recommended to take it with food. This medication is not recommended if you have existing medical condition of your kidneys.
- Aspirin/citric acid/sodium bicarbonate (@78%)
Aspirin is a pain reliever while the sodium bicarbonate is called an antacid that fights heartburn and indigestion. This is not recommended for children since taking an aspirin may poison the liver specially when dosage is not controlled.
- Naproxen (@78%)
A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that treats fever, pain and swelling. Just like ibuprofen, it works thirty (30) to sixty (60) minutes after intake. To prevent an upset stomach, it is recommended to take it with food. This medication is not recommended if you have existing medical condition of your kidneys. It is recommended not to take naproxen together with aspirin.
- Acetaminophen (@77%)
Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is often mistaken as NSAID, but it is an anti-inflammatory medication. It also treats fever, pain and swelling and takes effect one (1) hour after intake. However, too much intake of acetaminophen can damage the liver severely.
- Aspirin (@ 76%)
Aspirin reduces fever, pain, and protect the heart in people at risk for cardiovascular disease. Aspirin thins the blood hence, it on a regular basis can increase the chances of internal bleeding. Due to this risk, it is recommended mostly to take ibuprofen or acetaminophen for safer options of pain relief and reducing a fever.
Narcotics are used for severe pains which cannot be lessen by other types of pain relievers. It is also called as opioid pain relievers. These drugs can be effective at reducing pain when used carefully and under supervision of healthcare specialist. Narcotics blocks the feeling of pain by working on binding the receptors in the brain. Narcotic drugs should not be used for more than three (3) to four (4) months unless prescribed or instructed by a health professional. Common narcotics used are codeine, fentanyl, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, meperidine, morphine, oxycodone and tramadol.
A prescription medicine used to treat symptoms of pain from moderate to severe. It belongs to a class of drugs called Opioid Analgesics and can be used alone or with other medications. Some of the side effects of taking Ultram are dizziness, stomach pain, nausea, constipation, vomiting, headache, tiredness and itching.
Hydrocodone is used to help patients for severe pain. It is only used to treat people who are in need to relieve severe pain for a long time which cannot be treated with other medications or treatment. Hydrocodone in capsules or in tablets should not be used if the pain can be treater by other medications. It changes the way the nervous system responds to pain.
Why Use Pain Relief Pills?
Pain relief medications are only part of controlling pain. Medications will depend on the type of pain you are experiencing. Short term pain (lasts for three (3) months or less) can be treated by OTC medciations without a prescription. If you are experiencing pain for more than there (3) months, it is already considered as chronic pain. Chronic pain has other causes. OTC pain medications may not work for chronic pain. There other ways to control chronic pain other than taking a medication.
All painkillers may have potential side effects which is why it is recommended to consult it with your doctor and weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of taking them. It is also important to review your medications regularly to ensure that they are helping you to function and improve your quality of life.
Different types of pain medication include:
- over-the-counter (OTC) medication (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), codeine, (paracetamol)
- opioids (morphine, tramadol, codeine)
- anti-epileptic medication (gabapentin, carbamazepine, pregabalin)
- anti-depressants (duloxetine, amitriptyline)
How Does Pain Relievers Work?
Pain relievers work with your cells, nerve endings, nervous system and brain to keep you from feeling the pain. Although nerves can sense pain and send signals to the brain, the brain cannot feel the pain itself.
The body is full of nerve endings in the skin and tissues. These nerve endings can sense pain like from a burnt or injured body part. When cells in your body are injured or damaged, they release chemicals called prostaglandins. The nerve endings that sense pain is very sensitive to prostaglandins. Once it is released, the nerve endings respond by picking up and transmitting the pain and injury through the nervous system to the brain. Everything about the pain like where it is and how much it hurts are sent to the brain.
When taking a pain killer like ibuprofen, it helps to keep the injured or damaged cells from making and releasing prostaglandin. When the cells don’t release this kind of chemical, the brain won’t get the signa for the pain quickly or clearly thus, the pain goes away or becomes less as long as the cells are not releasing the chemical. On the other hand, when acetaminophen works, it sends signal to the brain so that you don’t feel pain.
For operation or health problem which causes severe pain, most doctors may prescribe pain relievers that are stronger. These types of pain relievers work by hindering the signal to the nerve cells so they can’t transmit the message to one another. The signal of pain will not be able to make it to the brain, and this keeps the person from feeling pain.
Outlook for Pain Relief
Pain is an emotional sensation and distressing sensory which is caused by a disease or injury. Different disorders may cause discomfort, such as stomach ulcer, chronic arthritis, multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis, diabetic neuropathy, fibromyalgia and cancer. The length of the pain would range from acute pain to chronic pain.
Acute pain is a sudden start of pain for chronic pain which is caused by joint conditions, aged bones, nerve damage, and/or injury. Pain management involves reducing, controlling or treating pain by using different types of medications. There are several available medicines which can help to relieve pain through a variety of physiological mechanisms such as targeting nociceptors.
Rising of geriatric population is the major factor that urges the growth of global pain management market, since aged people are more prone to suffer from joint and bone pain and other chronic diseases or conditions. For instance, chronic disease such as cancer is getting larger. Almost 20 to 50% of people with cancer suffer from pain as per the National Cancer Institute. Around 80% of patients suffer from moderate to severe pain with advanced stage cancer. Moreover, surge of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes osteoarthritis and neuropathy increase the market. Furthermore, rise within the variety of surgical procedures and rise in tending expenditure square measure expected to fuel growth of the market. However, drug exploitation, patent expiration of prescription pain medication medicine, and accessibility of substitutes like pain relief devices restrain the market growth.
The global pain management medicine market is divided on the idea of drug category, indication, and region on the idea of drug category, the market is classified into nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug medicine (NSAIDs), anesthetics, anticonvulsants, antimigraine agents, antidepressants, opioids, and nonnarcotic analgesics. Opioids are further classified into tramadol, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and others (fentanyl, morphine, meperidine, codeine, and methadone). On the basis of indication, the market is divided into arthritic pain, neuropathic pain, cancer pain, chronic back pain, postoperative pain, migraine, and fibromyalgia.