For most people, short-term pain relief involves taking some type of anti-inflammatory medication–Advil and Motrin being the most popular over-the-counter versions.
These medications were originally designed to be used only once in a while, but many people now rely on them on a daily basis.
Considering the dangers–heavy use increases the probability of stomach ulcers and intestinal bleeding and also places enormous stress on the liver and kidneys–I tell people to avoid them because there are much safer and effective alternatives.
Personally, I haven’t taken an over-the-counter or prescription pain reliever in nearly a decade!
Pain is a sign that something is wrong in the body, so the first task is to find out exactly what the problem is and to set about fixing it.
To handle the pain in the meantime, there are numerous things you can do.
Pain Relief Creams
You may already have something like this. Maybe it has a warming effect, giving you slight relief from muscle tension, but it also may irritate your skin, work for only a short time, smell terrible, or lack the power to really do any good.
Fortunately, there are creams out there that are much more effective.
The nice thing about a quality cream is that it’s fast– it can deliver almost immediate relief.
So while you’re waiting for your (highly recommended) proteolytic enzyme supplement to be digested and go to work in your body, the right pain relief cream can help you start feeling better right away.
You can apply it directly to the area of your body that hurts and get the muscles and joints moving again if they’re stiff or locked up.
You also can use creams on a daily basis if you need to, without worrying about unhealthy side effects (provided the cream you are using is not full of toxic chemicals, which many are).
If you’re having trouble sleeping because of pain, a good rub-on cream can provide the ease that you need to drift off comfortably. It’s also the perfect take-along tool for pain that strikes while you’re traveling, working, or out doing some other activity.
When looking for a quality product, I’d encourage you to watch for three things.
First, the cream should be made with all-natural ingredients.
There are many botanical and organic substances that battle inflammation and pain. Some creams take advantage of them.
Find one that blends them together in a way that works. Even better, find one that has scientific studies behind it.
(See why you’ll want to AVOID common over-the-counter pain creams like Icy Hot and Ben Gay… including a DANGEROUS ingredient to beware of!)
Second, look for a product that does more than just create heat.
Many of the creams on the market do only that, conveying the idea that if you feel heat, it must be working. Unfortunately, this isn’t necessarily the case.
While heat can help loosen stiff muscles, if that’s all the product does, it won’t help you much.
A quality cream will go beyond that. The formula should provide powerful antioxidants that not only neutralize harmful cells at the injury point, but also help reduce inflammation.
The right ingredients will absorb into the skin and into the muscle tissue to go to work on the injured area, relieving pain through a number of approaches.
Finally, the product should do something to alleviate your stiffness.
I mentioned that heat can do this, but other ingredients have proven to be more effective at penetrating the source of the problem, relaxing tight muscle fibers, and allowing for better movement.