Monday, 29 October 2012

Rethinking Pain Relief

From time to time you may reach for a pain relief tablet to treat a headache, twinging back or toothache, but perhaps you should sometimes think twice about reaching for the pills, and try one of the alternatives available.

Some types of pain respond well to heat, like those in the neck (just the physical not the proverbial kind mind you) and back. Try using an adhesive self-heating pad, which you can attach to your clothing and feel the soothing warmth that lasts all day – I find these a great comfort. Try Curaheat pads, £3.85 for 3 at Boots, or just as good Wilko Heat and Relief 99p for two at Wilkinson. I’ve recently noticed heat pads that you stick directly onto your skin appearing in the shops, but have yet to try these. They tend to be pricier than the version for clothing: Boots Direct to Skin Heat Patch, £5.90 for 4 or Curaheat Direct to Skin Back Patches £4.99 for 2. If anyone has tried these do let me know

Still on the subject of heat, a herbal heat pack may be more to your liking. These resemble small pillows and are heated in the microwave and applied to the affected area. Try Wilkinson’s Wheat and Lavender Heat Pack, £4.

For a nasty headache or migraine, a cooler soothing approach may be what’s need. Try Migraine Kool ‘n’ Soothe, £3.25 for 4 at Boots, or Boots Cooling Headache Pads, £2.89 for 4, adhesive strips that you apply to your forehead for cooling, pill-free relief.

If it’s toothache that’s troubling you, then a more traditional remedy may be to your liking. I recommend clove oil, applied directly to the troublesome tooth with a cotton wool pad or cotton bud. A 10ml bottle of clove oil for £2.99 is available from Boots.

Of course, should you still decide that a pain relief tablet is what is required, then do choose wisely. Supermarket brands tend to be much cheaper than big brand names but have identical ingredients (it’s the active ingredients that you need to check). 500mg of paracetamol is 500mg of paracetamol, whether packaged as Tesco’s own or costalotalol.

Let me know your pain relief tips. Visit

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