The best pain relief ultimately depends on the type of pain experienced, as well as the cause of the pain. For many people, over-the-counter pain relievers may be the best option for temporary pain treatment. Other people may find natural cures, such as exercise, rest, or taking a hot bath to be effective methods of pain relief. To begin, determine the cause of the pain, and if it is necessary to visit a doctor or if the pain can be resolved on its own.
If using an over-the-counter pain reliever, determine if it is necessary to take an oral pain reliever, or whether a topical treatment will work. Topical pain relievers may be effective against pain from toothaches or skin abrasions, for example. Whether using oral or topical pain relief, be sure to follow all of the directions carefully on the package.
If muscles are sore from a workout or from repetitive motion, many people find effective pain relief by soaking in a warm bath or taking a hot shower. In addition, using a heating pad on a sore muscle will often help as well. The heat from the bath, shower, or heating pad effectively relaxes tense muscles without the use of medication. Remember to stretch, warm up, and cool down before and after exercising every time to prevent muscle injury and pain. Many people find yoga to be an effective way to stretch sore muscles, increase strength to prevent injury, and reduce tension-causing stress.
Headaches can also be persistent and difficult to get rid of. Because many come from tension and stress, a headache may be helped by doing some simple stretches, taking some deep breaths, or taking a short break and going for a walk. Staying hydrated by drinking water or decaffeinated tea may also help with headaches. If the headache is a migraine, it may be necessary to rest in a dark room to help with light sensitivity and pain relief.
If pain is persistent or debilitating, and over-the-counter pain relievers or natural methods do not help, a doctor might recommend other avenues of treatment. These might include prescription pain relievers, physical therapy, or even surgery. If exploring these avenues, be sure to ask any questions regarding treatment, and to fully understand what the expected outcome will be. Though it may be possible to lessen pain with physical therapy or surgery, depending on the condition, it may still always be present depending on the particular cause.