8 Common Pain Myths Busted

September 12, 2011

Not understanding your pain can be a huge barrier towards combating pain. Once
considered unbeatable, pain is now becoming more manageable.

Here are 8 common pain myths busters:

Myth 1: That paracetamol is tolerated better than ibuprofen

FACT: Scientific studies show that in both adults and children, when taken at the correct dosage, ibuprofen, the active ingredient in Nurofen, is just as well tolerated as paracetamol.

Myth 2: That pain relievers are the only way to manage pain.

FACT: As well as traditional medicines, many people also turn to holistic therapies to help ease pain. Some of the alternative ways to relieve pain include yoga, meditation, hypnosis, reflexology, acupuncture, aromatherapy, chiropractic and physiotherapy.

Myth 3: Ignoring the pain will help it go away.

FACT: Ignoring the pain will not make it go away. Ignoring the pain can often make the pain worse. For example, if you are exercising and start to feel pain, continuing to exercise could exacerbate the injury. Pain is actually your body’s way of telling you that you’ve hurt yourself and that you need to take action. It also acts as a deterrent so that you don’t put any additional strain on the affected area. According to the American Pain Society, one in four pain sufferers wait at least six months before seeing a doctor.

If you have a toothache as the result of a cavity and you ignore the pain you could end up with an abscess or other health issues.

Myth 4: No pain, no gain – if you’re a woman and you’re exercising, you haven’t had a decent workout if you’re not in pain.

FACT: It seems more and more women are participating in sport, getting fit at the gym or with a personal trainer so it is important to know that it is normal to feel some muscle soreness if you start a new exercise program or rev up your current one. But if your workout leaves you in real pain, it could mean you’re exercising incorrectly or developing an overuse injury from trying to get fit too fast.

If you are starting a new exercise regime after a break, it is important to ease your way into it. To protect against painful injuries, ease into new exercises gradually and work different muscle groups on different days. Invest in an anti-inflammatory gel such as Nurofen Gel that’s targeted to relief sprains, strains and sports injuries.

Myth 5: Women are better than men when it comes to dealing with pain.

FACT: Neither sex has the edge on pain but gender can influence your coping style.
Anecdotally, men may have been socialised to deny pain and to be stoic if they experience it. But women might be more willing to express their pain and don’t view admitting it as a sign of weakness.

In a study investigating how men and women handle their arthritis pain, Affleck G et al found that women reported 72 per cent more pain in their joints than men, but handled the emotions accompanying their discomfort better than men. One of the authors, Ohio University psychologist Dr Francis Keefe, said “men have lessons to learn from women in coping with pain. While women may experience more intense pain, they may be better able to limit its emotional consequences than men.”

Myth 6: Men still think they are fit and able to play rugby as they did when they were 18.

FACT: Anyone who is over 40 and thinks they can play rugby as they did when they were 18 is in potential trouble. Many people lose muscle and strength with age. However, most of this loss is due to inactivity. When inactive people grow older several things happen. Exercise tolerance declines, body fat increases, muscles decrease in size and become weaker and bone thickness decreases. These changes all increase the risk of injury. The important thing is that if an over 40 year old man decides to throw himself into an impromptu game of rugby and experiences pain, he shouldn’t push on. Pain is a sign that something is wrong. Masking pain by taking pain relief before a game of rugby isn’t recommended either.

Myth 7: Weather has no influence on joint pain.

FACT: Although the exact scientific mechanism is unclear, weather appears to influence joint pain. But it’s more likely that barometric pressure is what seems to make a difference rather than heat or humidity.

Myth 8: That chocolate isn’t good for you.

FACT: Chocolate with a high cocoa content contains antioxidants. Antioxidants help to rid the body of free radicals which cause aging and disease.

How do you prefer to handle pain – popping pain relief like Nurofen? A holistic approach like yoga or meditation? Or do you just soldier on?

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