What is Pain Relief?
Almost all of us know what it’s like to be in pain – whether it’s from a stubbed toe, sports injury, sprain, strain or headache, pain can be debilitating and most unpleasant. In essence, pain is the result of an electrical signal being sent from your nerves through the nervous system to your brain
Something else happens too: when you injure yourself (such as a sprained ankle) the damaged tissue releases chemicals called prostaglandins, (which are like hormones) and these prostaglandins cause the tissue to swell They also amplify the electrical signal coming from the nerves – increase the pain you feel!
How Does Pain Relief Work?
Pain relievers work with your cells, your body’s nerve endings, your nervous system, and your brain to keep you from feeling the pain. Initial pain is your body’s early warning system that something is wrong, so you can take steps to correct the problem – your body views initial pain as a ‘good’ thing. If you couldn’t feel pain – you would suffer awful wounds, cuts, burns and scrapes – and probably end up with bacterial infections.
When you take certain pain relievers like ibuprofen, it keeps injured or damaged cells from making and releasing prostaglandin and when the cells don’t release this chemical, it means that the brain won’t get the pain message as quickly or clearly. Unfortunately, if you stop taking the pain relief, the pain returns. This may increase the risk of addiction to pain killers, as you may become dependant on the short-term relief that they produce.
The most commonly used conventional drugs include:
NSAID’s (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
- Aspirin (Bufferin, Bayer, and Excedrin)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin)
- Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
Conventional pain relievers also carry the risk of side effects. While Aspirin has some benefits (it works against the formation of blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes) it may also cause bruises to worsen (due to the blood not clotting properly under the skin) and other complications. Other Furthermore NSAID’s also raise the risk of heart diseases in some people – researchers admit they don’t fully understand how NSAIDs work.
Help for Pain Relief
Many herbal and homeopathic remedies have been formulated with specific ingredients to help all affected mechanisms in the body to address pain effectively and soothe soreness. The homeopathic ingredient Arnica is used extensively to treat shock, injury and for post-operative care, convalescence and also helps to control bleeding.
It is often prescribed to help with post-childbirth pain, as well as joint and muscle pain and fever Filipendula almaria contains salicylates – a natural chemical similar to the pharmaceutical aspirin. Unlike, aspirin, however, Meadowsweet has pain relieving and anti-inflammatory properties without side effects such as stomach ulcers and the risk of Raynaud’s Disease, associated with the use of pharmaceutical aspirin.