Side effects of painkillers:
Much to our dismay, there is another side to the analgesics which is not as good as its therapeutic benefits. Prolonged usage of paracetamol causes liver damage, while NSAIDs may cause gastrointestinal bleeding and allergic reactions. Opioids are commonly associated with sedation, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting and dryness of mouth. Physical dependence is also a major adverse effect of narcotic analgesics that leads to drug abuse.
Non-drug therapies to relief pain:
Think beyond medicines if you want to avoid an encounter with adverse effect, as there are several non-drug approaches to ease pain. Some of these include:
Relaxation techniques: The foremost strategy in the management of pain is to take rest or to relax aching part of your body, as excess physical activity is one of the causes of pain. Relaxation techniques include meditation, hypnosis, guided imagery, aromatherapy and biofeedback. Aromatherapy involves inhalation of fragrance from oils or extracts from herbs and trees to relieve stress. While, guided imagery helps you to create pictures in your mind that results in reduced severity of pain.
Physical therapy: Exercises can alleviate pain arising from certain conditions like fibromyalgia. Stretching exercises reduce stiffness and improve flexibility, while strengthening exercises can make your muscles stronger and aerobic exercises (also known as endurance) can result in stronger heart and lungs.
Heat and cold therapies: These are easy yet effective options to curtail pain. Heat can ease pain resulting from muscle tension and physical indolence by improving the flow of blood to the affected area. Heating pads or hot packs are used for localized pain, whereas warm baths or lying on a heating mattress can minimize overall pain. Cold therapy, with a contrast mechanism to its heat counterpart, triggers numbness by reducing the blood flow to the affected region. Ice packs or a bag containing frozen elements can be placed over the affected area for duration of 15 to 20 minutes.
Massage: It is another promising way to reduce the pain; it improves blood flow and soothes spasms. You can massage yourself or can take help from other person. Handheld devices are also available which can help in massage.
Acupuncture: It is believed to be a successful remedy in relieving pain. It involves insertion of needles at various points in our body to stabilize energy channels in our body.
Other ways: Music therapy and laughter are also helpful in alleviating pain. Listening to music is believed to be associated with release of endorphins, which are natural pain killers present in our body. Laughter is a way to fight anger, fear or depression.
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