Back, muscle, headache, and period pain? We’ve got you covered.
Newsflash: almost all Australian women struggle with acute pain, with new research revealing that 95 per cent of women are regularly in pain, and many don’t know how to manage it effectively. Oh.
According to the same research from pharmacy retailer Amcal, Aussie women experience four common types of pain – half (50 per cent) regularly suffer from headaches, a similar number (45 per cent) have trouble with back pain, and more than a quarter (26 per cent) endure period pain, while close to one in six (16 per cent) often battle with muscle pain from exercise.
It’s not uncommon for many women to get on with it, without pain relief, or self-manage their condition without seeking expert advice, says Amcal Senior Pharmacist James Nevile.
“While some women present to pharmacy for help with their stress headaches, back pain, muscle soreness and menstrual pain, it is likely there are a lot of women out there who do not know how to manage their pain effectively,” Nevile says.
“Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen are commonly used to treat these types of acute pain, but there is a risk of developing side effects such as indigestion, stomach ulcers or an upset tummy if taken too frequently.
“Equally, there are other treatments beyond medication along with lifestyle changes that we can recommend to help alleviate the types of pain you may be experiencing,” Nevile says.
Here is his treatment advice for the four major types of pain.
Experiencing a bad headache can disrupt your day and affect your mood. Here’s how to zap it…
Make a plan: Speak to an expert, like your pharmacist, who can help you determine the severity of your headache, and find the right pain relief solution.
Drink up: Be conscious of your water intake. Make sure you’re having the recommended eight cups of water per day, or two litres, as this will combat dehydration that is often associated with mild headaches.
Relax: Muscle contraction headaches can develop from tension in your facial and neck muscles. Using simple relaxation techniques like yoga to focus on your breathing, or listening to a guided meditation exercise on YouTube are all great ways to help put your mind at ease.
You might be familiar with monthly menstrual cramps, but if your period pain interferes with your daily life and causes symptoms such as chronic pelvic pain or cramping, discomfort during intercourse, or heavy or prolonged periods, it’s recommended that you see your GP for further investigation. Some strategies that may help alleviate mild period pain include…
Soothe: Take an hour (or more) to give your body the relaxation it’s asking for. Take a warm bath, place a heat pack over your belly or lightly stretch to relax and ease the pain.
Understand sleeping patterns: Sleeping problems can be closely related to your menstrual cycle. Restless sleep is quite common in the lead up to getting your period, and cramps can also prevent you from having a good night’s sleep – meaning you’re likely to feel sleepier during the day. If you suspect your sleep problems are linked to your menstrual cycle, it’s a good idea to keep a sleep diary for a few months to identify patterns. For others, sometimes a bit of bed rest, particularly in the first day of your period, is all you need to help manage the worst of the pain.
Get relief: Discuss your pain relief options with your pharmacist or GP. They will help you choose the most effective type or combination of medication and other treatments, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach.
Back pain is a problem and can be an indication of several different illnesses and conditions. If you’re experiencing chronic back pain, it’s important to seek expert advice to investigate the cause. However, if your pain is mild and intermittent, the following tips may help…
Stay active: Keeping things moving is almost always the best medicine for back pain. Talk to your physiotherapist about exercises that suit you.
Understand your pain: Knowing what makes things better or worse can help you avoid flare ups and get back to normal faster if pain does arise.
Unwind: Stress can make pain worse and cause you to hold body positions that might exacerbate back pain. Find strategies that help you to manage stress at work and at home.
If your muscles are sore the day after exercising, it may be a sign of an impressive work out, but there’s no denying it can impact your ability to get on with your day-to-day activities. Relieve those DOMS with these tips…
Rest up: A good night’s sleep or a big rest during the day can help relieve and revive your muscles.
Stretch: To prevent and treat exercise-related muscle pain, stretching is an absolute must. If you actually do the appropriate stretches before and after a workout, you will feel the benefits (dreaded foam roller included!).
Get advice: Much like headaches and period pain, it’s important to speak with a medical professional about the best medicines to treat your muscle soreness. This can come in the form of a pain relief tablet, vitamin supplement or a topical cream, so it’s best to find out which option suits you best.
Original article posted on –>> bodyandsoul.com.au