The term pain relief refers to any treatments which are designed to reduce pain a person is experiencing in one or several areas of their body. Pain relief can be provided by certain medications, which are commonly referred to as painkillers, and through other types of treatments which are classed as non-medicinal pain relief.
Our Health Care Team
"Pain is felt and dealt with by people in a large number of ways. When pain can be considered mild, it is unlikely to be connected to any serious issues but it can still interrupt your plans and be very annoying as a result. Relieving symptoms of mild pain makes focusing on other things in your life much easier, which is why people may use medications such as paracetamol or various non-medicinal methods to tackle the issue. In both areas there are products that are proven capable, but it’s useful to identify which treatments are safe and most effective for you."
What is considered mild pain?
The way a person experiences pain and the severity of it varies for each individual. In general terms, mild pain usually refers to problems such as headaches and back pain which are not chronic. Temporary pain around other areas of the body could also be considered mild pain.
While such pain is unlikely to be linked to serious health problems or a catalyst for any, mild pain can still prove bothersome enough to distract someone from their daily activity.
What mild pain relief medicines are available?
The types of medication which can be used to treat mild pain relief include the following:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Weak opioids
Paracetamol is a commonly used drug for treating mild pain in the UK and is easily bought from either online stores or in supermarkets or other shops (without needing a prescription). These tablets are taken to treat headaches and most non-nerve pains.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are most effective in relieving pain caused specifically by inflammation, such as mild back pain. Numerous types of anti-inflammatory drugs are available over the counter without needing a prescription. Popular examples include Ibuprofen, Diclofenac and Naproxen. Aspirin is another type of NSAID, but it is less effective than other drugs of this kind at relieving general pain, so it is less likely to be chosen for this job.
Opioids designed for pain relief may possibly be used for mild or moderate pain. They are only likely to be considered if treatment with paracetamol or anti-inflammatory drugs proves inadequate. Even if they are deemed necessary, only weaker opioids would be recommended for treating mild pain and a prescription will be required before purchasing them. Examples of opioids which may be prescribe include codeine, dihydrocodeine and tramadol.
Medicines as strong as anti-inflammatory drugs or opioids should only be used for a short period of time to deal with mild pain - up to a week max preferably. You should see your doctor for advice if symptoms persist for longer even after taking medication.
What non-medicinal treatments are there to treat mild pain?
Non-medicinal pain relief is a broad term which can describe a wide range of products and therapies. There are different potential reasons to explain why someone would choose a non-medicinal treatment over any medicines to treat pain. If a patient is allergic to certain medication, or they are regularly taking medicines for other conditions which could create complications, then non-medicinal treatments are more likely to be considered. For treating mild pain symptoms, the list of non-medicinal options can include the following:
- TENS Machine
- Ergonomic supports
- Natural oils and lotions
- Exercises and therapies
An actipatch is a drug-free treatment which can be ordered from online pharmacies. The patches provide what is called PEMF therapy (pulsed electromagnetic field therapy). They work by re-energising cells in a damaged area, which encourages them to heal on their own. Because it is drug-free, actipatch treatment can be used alongside traditional pain relief methods like NSAIDs.
TENS machines are another type of non-medicinal treatment that are widely used for pain relief. TENS stands for transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, which sounds complicated but the way it works is relatively straightforward. The treatment requires putting adhesive electrode pads on your skin at the site of pain and these send electrical impulses through your body. Essentially, the patches block pain signals from being sent to the brain from the nerves.
Certain natural oil and lotion products can also potentially be used for treating mild pain or even chronic pain conditions. For instance, patients could purchase magnesium oil sprays. They can be helpful because the mineral contained not only occurs naturally in the body, but it is also able to regulate muscle and nerve function and encouraging strengthening of the bones. Creams, lotions and oils which contain cannabidiol (CBD) are also natural products which can be bought legally to treat pain.
Exercise and therapies are methods of treating pain in a non-medicinal way which usually require little or no cash, although there’s no routine which will suit all patients and some exercises could end up exacerbating pain. Physiotherapy may be arranged to combat long-term pain relief, but when dealing with mild pain symptoms, some simple exercises could prove very effective. For example, walking is often recommended to it being a gentle exercise and encouraging movement. It may hurt a little to begin with, but it’s important to not over-do it and to ease yourself into it gently.