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  • Writer's pictureWilson Bunton

5 Ways You Can Relieve Pain with Over-the-Counter Products

Pain– whether acute or chronic– can create major barriers to living your life as actively as you want. However, you don’t have to turn to prescription pain relief to overcome discomfort. There are a number of over-the-counter solutions that can help you feel better. Here are a few of them:

TENs Units

What are they? TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is a small, battery-powered device with small wires that sends electrodes through the body.

Uses: The electricity that is sent through the body produces endorphins which can aid in pain relief. You place the electrodes on the skin, wherever you have pain. It creates an almost massage-like sensation that reduces pain. A great use for this would be for those suffering back or knee pain, cancer pain, tendonitis or post-surgical pain.


What is it? It is an oil that is extracted from the cannabis plant. It is one of the 104 compounds in cannabis. After extraction, it is diluted with hemp seed or coconut oil.

Uses: CBD Oil has been known to be an effective treatment for a myriad of pain points. It is known as a natural alternative to pain management. If you live with anxiety, epilepsy or chronic pain, this might be a great option for you!

Arthritis Cream

What is it? Although arthritis can’t be completely cured, arthritis cream can help to reduce the pain as it is absorbed through the skin. A common cream that many have success with is capsaicin cream. It is derived from hot chili peppers, so take care to wash your hands after applying it to your pain points. There are also Salicylates (similar to Aspirin) and Counterirritants that produce a cold and hot sensation.

Uses: This is a helpful option to reduce the pain in arthritic joints. Each type of cream offers a different form of relief, depending on what you are looking for. You are going to want to apply any of these creams on the joints that are closest to the skin to have the greatest effect. This would be in places like the knees and hands.

Icy Hot

What is it? The meaning is in the name with this one! If you’ve never used Icy Hot, you are looking at a new household staple. It contains menthol and methyl salicylate which causes a cooling and then warming sensation on the skin. The tingling feeling helps to trick the brain by blocking pain signals.

Uses: It has been found to be helpful for those with arthritis, muscle or general joint pain. The cooling causes the pain to a dull numb and the warmth soothes it away.

Traditional Methods:

What are they? You likely have some of these in your cabinet already, but when you are ready for more, we can help you resupply. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are good examples of these common over-the-counter pain relievers. However, they have different chemical compositions and therefore, different uses.

Uses: Acetaminophen is best to use if you have a fever or pain. Ibuprofen is an anti-inflammatory medication that can assist in pain management and inflammation. These should not be taken together. Decide what symptoms you are trying to treat most and choose accordingly.

Shaffer Pharmacy has safe, effective, over-the-counter methods to relieve pain. Visit us today and speak with a pharmacist to see what we can offer.

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