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Should I Grab a Pain Reliever at the First Sign of Pain?

Often our first response to pain is to grab and pain reliever such as aspirin, Tylenol, or ibuprofen to relieve that pain so you feel better. But is that the best strategy?

Let’s suppose you got a cut on your finger. What is likely to happen? You will usually notice four things: pain, redness, swelling and extra warmth (heat) in that area. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Actually, it is a good thing because your body is doing exactly what it was designed to do in order to help that cut heal.

If you get a cut on your hand, the opening in the skin allows bacteria to enter. Inside our tissues we have cells called macrophages. Their job is to find and devour anything they notice that is not a part of “us” and that shouldn’t be there. After they eat the bacteria they release chemicals.  These chemicals cause the redness you see. The chemicals also cause fluid leakage from our capillaries which results in swelling in the area. The increased blood flow brings heat. Nearby nerves are stimulated by the chemicals as well, which causes pain.

So when you feel discomfort that makes you want to run to the medicine cabinet for some type of pain reliever, realize that all of those unpleasant symptoms you are feeling are there because your body is doing its job just as it should be. Your body has its own built-in defense mechanisms that work better than any man-made medication you can take. Let it do its job, even though it may take a little longer.

(Please understand that severe injuries need to be dealt with by a medical professional. Do not try to treat these on your own. You need to seek medical attention.)

*The information in this article is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition and does not substitute for a thorough evaluation by a medical professional.  Please consult your chiropractor or physician to determine whether these self-care tips are appropriate for you.

Photo by Brian Patrick Tagalog on Unsplash