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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
OxPARC

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Pain relief

There are several ways of relieving pain:

Self management

  • Apply heat or cold
    Try a hot water bottle, warm bath or bag of frozen peas
  • Rubbing / massage
    This stimulates the nerves that interconnect with and block pain signals
  • Sympathy and chocolate
    These stimulate the release of comforting chemicals and balance stress hormones
  • Movement
    This stimulates the nerves to block pain signals and helps to reduce imbalance
  • Keep occupied
    Distract the mind from the pain by finding something enjoyable to do, but don't expect to perform as you usually do

Medication

  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen, naproxen, diclofenac
  • Codeine, coproxamol, cocodamol
  • Tramadol, morphine, buprenorphine patches

Other remedies

  • Physiotherapy
    This addresses imbalances and promotes helpful movement; physiotherapists may also supply aids such as crutches
  • Splints
    Can be useful in the short term to protect against painful movement
  • Sympathy and chocolate
    These stimulate the release of comforting chemicals and balance stress hormones when not given in excess
  • Alternative remedies
    Some patients have responded well to the following:
    • Herbal remedies
    • Acupuncture
    • Aromatherapy
    • Osteopathy / Chiropractics

See physiotherapy and occupational therapy for more information.

Other things to consider

  • School
    Let teachers know of any ongoing pain and that it may cause irritability, frustration or withdrawal
  • Sleep
    Optimise sleep because tiredness amplifies pain
  • Diet
    A good diet optimises energy and nutrition and balances hormones