One of the least amusing things about getting older is the aches and pains that come with it! Because in my head I’m still in my early 20s, some of the pains I get take me by surprise, until I remember that I’m 40 and approaching middle age. I have actually suffered with hip pain for over ten years. I lost a lot of weight and it did ease for a while, but it’s back with a vengeance now that I am severely overweight again. It’s (yet another) of the reasons I am determined to stick to my weightloss plan this time.
I also get the odd ‘bad back’ and my knees have seen better days. Am I selling myself here?! Whenever I mention pain to the doctor, the standard response seems to be, “are you taking painkillers? If not, take painkillers.” All well and good in the very short term, but when your pain is chronic like mine, the last thing I want to do is to pop pills all day every day.
Luckily, Movelat has some pain relief products that can help ease the aches without resorting to taking medications daily.
Movelat Relief Gel is a topical pain relief gel that is applied directly onto the skin of the affected area. It contains Mucopolysaccharide polysulfate (MPS) and Salicylic acid, and can help with pain and inflammation caused by rheumatic and muscular pains, stiffness, sprains, strains and mild arthritic conditions. It’s ideal for people like me who don’t want to keep taking paracetamol, ibuprofen and stronger, or who are on other medications that can be affected by these. Because the gel is applied to the affected area, less of the medicine gets into the bloodstream and circulates through the body.
Pain relief expert Dr Roger Knaggs explains: “There are several different types of topical creams and gels for the relief of pain. Topical treatments tend to have fewer side effects than systemic medicines.
They also have benefits from a tolerability point of view and the side effects can be much less than other treatments. If you have a localised pain, then again they can be very effective.”
Quite often we use a combination of medicines and if they are complimentary in the way they work that can be very helpful, however, it is not recommended to use an oral NSAID and topical NSAID.”
There is also a cream version available if gel isn’t your thing!
To complement topical pain relief creams and gels, Dr Knaggs suggests the following:
There is a range of activities and methods that we recommend to people suffering from pain to help manage their condition:
- Maintain physical activity
One of the most important things for any sufferer of osteoarthritis is to maintain physical activity. If you are experiencing long-term (chronic) pain, you are not necessarily going to do any more damage by exercising, as long as you do so within your capacity.
- Understand the impact of emotions
We encourage patients experiencing chronic pain to understand the role that the way they are feeling has on their symptoms of pain. Accepting that the way you are feeling does have an effect can help you address this and take another step towards managing the pain.
- Understand your nervous system
Sufferers should take steps to understand how their body and nervous system responds. For example, pain may be worse later in the day when an individual is tired or following a bad night’s sleep. It’s important for patients to understand that some of their pain and symptoms are due not necessarily due to ongoing tissue damage but the nervous system on a heightened sense of activity.
- Write down pain triggers
As there are such strong links between changes in the nervous system and pain symptoms, it can be important for patients to write down triggers of their pain. Whilst a useful technique, this should be approached with caution; it’s not conducive for patients to be writing long lists of potential triggers which could lead them to become activity avoiders. It’s important that sufferers continue to exercise and be as active as possible’
- Work with psychologists
There is not an instant fix for pain, especially chronic pain, therefore people need to be empowered to manage their own condition.Medicines do have a place to play in managing pain, but we encourage patients of chronic pain to work with psychologists who are trained in cognitive techniques to provide patients with the skills to live with their pain better in the long-term.
- Take responsibility
Due to the complex nature of pain and the both the physical, neurological, emotional and environmental factors that come in to play, it’s important for all people to understand that they need to take responsibility for their pain. There is not an instant fix to pain, especially chronic pain, therefore, people need to be empowered to manage their condition from learning about what helps and hinders them. Medicines do have a place to play in this, but it is a relatively small place.
- Mindfulness in the moment
Mindfulness and relaxation is a highly important aspect of managing pain. You should think about what may be underlying the issue causing your pain and use mindfulness to think more in the present. Mindfulness is great because it can be used ‘in the moment’, it can be used at the very time that you are experiencing the pain and help relieve the focus on it
There is a range of exercises which are good for individuals experiencing pain – there should be a mixture of cardiovascular exercise which could include brisk walking or cycling. Strengthening exercises can also be very beneficial, especially for more localised pain.
- Holistic management
Overall, finding pain relief whether it’s through techniques, product, exercise or medicines is about finding something that works for each individual and having a holistic approach. Psychological approaches should be used in the long-term, however, exercises can also be effective and medicines also have a small place to play in managing pain. There are also topical creams and gels for the relief of pain. Topical treatments tend to have fewer side effects than systemic medicines. They also have benefits from a tolerability point of view and the side effects can be much less than other treatments. If you have localised pain, then again, they can be very effective.
Finally, Dr Knaggs explains that, “It should be recognised that the impact from suffering from pain in the longer term can have severe impacts not just for the individual. If you have pain in the longer term, it begins to impact the limits of what you are able to do, your interaction with other people and ultimately your quality of life.”
So, if you are suffering from pain, it’s worth trying the above suggestions, as well as using a topical pain relief cream or gel. But please, don’t suffer in silence – if the pain doesn’t ease, go and see your GP to make sure there’s nothing more going on!
Movelat Relief Cream/Gel is available from Boots, Tesco, Independent & High Street Pharmacies. RRP £4.62 for 40g & RRP £7.36 for 80g. Visit www.movelat.co.uk for more information and advice on pain relief.
Disclosure: I was sent a sample of Movelat Pain Relief Gel to try in return for writing this article. Unless otherwise expressed, all thoughts and opinions are my own.