Pain relief medications can do a lot, but what about those times when you've taken your pain reliever and you're still in pain? It's not usually safe to just take more medication or to add another medication to the one you're already taking. But you don't just have to sit there in pain, either! Here are some ways to safely manage pain when you've already taken your pain meds but they're not quite cutting it.
Capsaicin is the compound that makes hot peppers hot. When applied topically, it basically tires out your nerve endings by causing them to send all sorts of heat signals, which then results in them sending fewer pain signals. Capsaicin cream is usually sold as an arthritis remedy, but you can really use it for any kind of pain as long as there are no cracks or cuts in the skin where you apply it. Rub it in well, and then wash your hands. Or, wear gloves as you apply it. The area will feel hot, and then the pain will fade.
If you do have some cuts or damaged skin and therefore can't apply capsaicin cream to the sore area, try a magnesium sulfate salt soak instead. This compound is safe for use on open wounds. If fact, some people use them to prevent or treat infections in open wounds. You can fill a whole tub with water and toss in a few cups of magnesium sulfate, or you can make a smaller bucket of warm water with some magnesium sulfate thrown in. Do whichever is easier, depending on the part of your body that hurts. You'll need to soak for at least 20 minutes for pain relief, but you really can't go too long! The magnesium helps relax muscles, and this helps ease tension and pain.
Ginger is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. People often take it orally, but it can also be helpful when applied topically to a sore area. When you apply it topically, you don't need to worry about it interfering with your pain relief medications. To make a ginger compress, simply grind up some fresh ginger in your food processor. Place it on a piece of mesh, and bundle the mesh into a sachet, tying it together with a string on top. Then, hold the ginger in place for as long as you want. The smell is energizing, and your pain should subside.
If your pain meds alone are not cutting it anymore, don't take another medication orally. Instead, rely on capsaicin, ginger, or magnesium sulfate used topically.
To learn more about pain management, contact a doctor.