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The 7 Best Over-the-Counter Pain Medications to Relieve Your Aches and Pains

Best Over-the-Counter Pain Medications

Pain is inevitable. Whether it’s a sprained ankle, a headache, or sore muscles, pain is something we all experience from time to time. OTC pain medications can provide relief from your aches and pains quickly and effectively. They are safe and effective when used as directed. There are many different types of over-the-counter (OTC) pain medications that can help you get through the day until you can see your doctor for more serious treatment. The different kinds of over-the-counter pain relievers include topical analgesics, NSAIDs, COX2 Inhibitors, local anesthetics, and homeopathic remedies. Each kind has its pros and cons depending on the type of pain you’re dealing with. Keep reading to learn more about your options!

Topical analgesics

Topical analgesics are used to treat the pain associated with minor skin conditions. They are not meant to treat deep-rooted pain in muscles or joints. Topical analgesics are available as creams, gels, ointments, lotions, sprays, patches, and shampoos. Topical analgesics work by temporarily reducing inflammation in the area where they are applied. This means they can help treat symptoms like redness, itching, and burning. However, they do not treat the underlying cause of the skin condition. Topical analgesics are best used for localized pain that is mild and short term. They are not meant for frequent use and should not be used on areas of broken skin.

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Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs are the most commonly used class of OTC pain medications. This is because they are very effective at treating both short-term and long-term pain. NSAIDs work by blocking the production of prostaglandins, which are chemicals that cause swelling and inflammation. There are two different types of NSAIDs. One type is COX-2 inhibitors (described below). The other is nonselective NSAIDs. All nonselective NSAIDs fall into this category, including ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac, celecoxib, and aspirin. There are a few potential side effects associated with NSAIDs. Some of the most common include gastrointestinal issues like heartburn and stomach pain, headaches, and dizziness.

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LCOX2 inhibitors

COX-2 inhibitors are chemically similar to NSAIDs. The main difference is that COX-2 inhibitors are selective. What does this mean? COX-2 inhibitors only impact certain prostaglandins. This means COX-2 inhibitors cause fewer side effects compared to nonselective NSAIDs. COX-2 inhibitors are contraindicated in people with high blood pressure, kidney disease, or who are pregnant.

Local anesthetics

Local anesthetics are primarily used for dental procedures. They can be used to treat short-term pain in almost any part of the body. Local anesthetics block the neural pathways that carry pain signals to the brain. This makes them a great option for treating joint, muscle, and nerve pain. Local anesthetics come in many different forms. These include sprays, ointments, gels, and patches. They are not meant to be used long-term. They can be combined with other types of painkillers when treating chronic pain. Local anesthetics can have some serious side effects if used incorrectly. These include numbness, swelling, and infection. If you use local anesthetics frequently, you could develop a tolerance and require higher doses to treat pain.

Homeopathic remedies

Homeopathic remedies are not recommended for treating acute pain. Instead, they are best used for long-term pain, emotional distress, and sleep disorders. Local anesthetics Because they are not meant for short-term pain relief, they are not recommended for treating cuts, sprains, or muscle pain. However, they can be helpful for people dealing with chronic pain.

Conclusion

The best pain medication for you depends on the type of pain you’re experiencing. NSAIDs, COX2 inhibitors, and local anesthetics are all effective for treating the pain of sprains, fractures, and other injuries. These medications can be used long-term to prevent the reoccurrence of chronic pain. But if you are experiencing acute pain from a temporary condition, you might want to consider using another type of painkiller. Local anesthetics, for example, are best used for dental procedures. Homeopathic remedies are a good option for long-term pain that does not respond to other treatments. If you experience significant pain, it’s important to see a doctor. Acute pain will usually go away on its own with the right treatment, but chronic pain can last for months or years. Chronic pain can be debilitating and can put you at risk for opioid addiction.

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