Pain – An Overview:
Pain is commonly referred to as a feeling of discomfort, but it’s more than just that. Pain can have an adverse effect on the way you feel overall, and can even lead to damaging mental health, causing depression and anxiety.
Acute pain tends to go away within a few weeks with the help of at-home treatments and over-the-counter medications. While on the other hand, chronic pain is ongoing and can last for more than three months, requiring you to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis.

What are the Types of Pain?
There are two major types of pain, known as:
• Nociceptive
• Neuropathic
Wondering what these are?
Well, the first kind, i.e. nociceptive pain is just your nervous system trying to protect your body.
For instance, the act of pulling your hand away from a burning stove in order to avoid getting hurt.
The later type of pain, neuropathic pain is usually caused due to nerve damage, or because of any misread signals between the nerves and your brain. For example, diabetic neuropathy, postherpetic neuropathy, and the carpal tunnel syndrome.
Now that you have the basic knowledge about pain and its types, let’s move on to the signs you need to see a doctor and methods of effective pain relief.

Signs You Should Visit a Doctor:
You need to make an appointment with a doctor near your if:
• The pain you’re experiencing hasn’t gone away even after 2-3 weeks.
• You’ve started feeling anxious, depressed, or stressed due to the pain.
• You’re unable to relax or sleep.
• The pain is stopping you from participating in everyday activities or exercising.
• OTC treatments and home remedies aren’t helping.
All of the above signs show that you’re experiencing chronic pain, which could be both physically as well as emotionally challenging.
Want to learn the methods of acute and chronic pain relief? Keep reading!

OTC Treatments and Medications:
You can easily purchase pain relievers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and acetaminophen (Tylenol) from a medical store even without a doctor’s prescription.
These help with pain relief for conditions like:
• Backache
• Headache
• Muscle aches
• Menstrual pain
• Sprains and minor injuries
Some of the most common NSAIDs for pain relief include:
• Ibuprofen
• Aspirin
• Naproxen
However, make sure you don’t use too much of over-the-counter medications, and as we just mentioned above, visit a doctor if the pain you’re feeling is too stubborn.
That’s because epidemic use of the above-mentioned pain killers could lead to:
• Stomach ulcers
• Kidney injury
• Excessive bleeding

Other Methods of Pain Relief:
If you don’t want to take medications, here’s a list of some other methods for pain relief:
1. Cold and heat therapy: An ice pack or a hot compress are two quick and easy ways of relieving pain. Cold therapy helps numb pain by reducing inflammation, while on the other hand heat therapy can help increase blood flow to the injured area, hence relaxing tight muscles.
2. Exercise: Yes, you read it right, researches show that exercise can effectively reduce the severity of pain and help improve physical function.
3. Physical Therapy: PT or Physical Therapy is often preferred by experts over pain killers. That’s because PT doesn’t have any kind of side effects and can help improve your physical strength and activity.
4. Yoga: Yoga poses combine deep breathing and meditation that can help relieve pain and improve physical strength of patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain.
5. Therapeutic Massage: A good body massage won’t only help you relax, but it’s also known to relieve physical pain, ease aches, and loosen up tight muscles.

Final Thoughts:
While acute pain could be dealt with easily at home, chronic pain is quite difficult to live with and is one of the most common reasons why adults visit doctors.
However, when it comes to pain-relieving drugs and medications, they can be addictive. Which is why experts recommend methods such as physical therapy and yoga for pain relief.

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