Injuring yourself, whether it's doing sports, in an accident, or anything else can leave you out of action for a while. Even minor injuries could require you to rest for a day or two, and more serious injuries can lead you to be laid up for longer.
Dealing with the pain of an injury can be difficult, especially if it makes it hard to go about your daily life. But you can manage pain in multiple ways, and your doctor or other medical professionals can advise you on how to do it. Here are some tips to help you.
Use OTC Painkillers
Over-the-counter painkillers are helpful for many injuries. You can use oral painkillers like ibuprofen, paracetamol/acetaminophen, and aspirin to treat pain after you've hurt yourself. As well as reducing pain, they can often help to reduce inflammation.
Different painkillers may be more effective for different types of pain, so speak to a doctor or pharmacist about which one might be the best for you to use. There are also times when it's best not to use a certain type of painkiller. For example, ibuprofen can irritate the stomach, especially if you take it for a long time.
Be Careful with Prescriptions
Sometimes you might be prescribed stronger painkillers, especially if you are experiencing more serious pain. However, doctors are much more cautious about prescribing these, especially opioids, which include painkillers such as codeine and oxycodone.
Many people have found themselves in rehab for heroin addiction that began with taking prescription medication. If prescribed opioids, it's important to be aware that they can be highly addictive. Only take them if you need to, and ensure you take them in a controlled manner. Some doctors will only prescribe a few pills at a time to help prevent problems.
Use Cold and Heat
There are various natural ways to manage pain after you have sustained an injury. Using hot and cold therapy is one of the options that you have. It's usually recommended that you use cold therapy for the first few days after a recent injury.
You can use an ice pack to cool the area where you feel pain for 20 minutes at a time, with at least 2 hours in between. Hot therapy can be helpful for more long-term or chronic pain. You can use a heat pack or hot water bottle or take a warm bath, following the same precautions as with cold therapy.
Balance Rest and Movement
Rest is important when healing, but it can also be important not to rest too much. Too little movement can mean that the injured area, especially joint, could stiffen up and make it difficult for you to start moving again. Your doctor can recommend how much movement you should be doing and perhaps give you exercises to help your injury heal gently.
When you're in pain after an injury, you can manage it in several ways to treat the injury and resulting pain safely.