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PAIN RELIEF SOLUTIONS
Fast Pain Relief

Medications used to relieve pain are commonly referred to as analgesic medications. Topical analgesics (creams that you apply directly to the skin over the area that hurts), like Myoflex®, can provide fast and effective pain relief. Myoflex® can be massaged in wherever and whenever you have pain. It’s odour-free so no one knows you’re using it, plus it absorbs quickly without sticking to or staining clothes. It’s available in four different formulas so you can get the type of relief that works best for you.
Short-Term Pain Relief There are a number of options available for the treatment of pain, particularly in the form of medication.1 ASPIRIN® is the most widely used analgesic and has been available since the early 1900s. It can be particularly effective because it relieves the pain of inflammation.

If your discomfort persists, talk to your doctor about stronger prescription medications or other treatment options.

Cold therapy is another treatment option that can provide some short-term pain relief. Cold is generally best for pain due to injury, such as a sprained ankle, because it reduces swelling and inflammation.9
Long-Term Pain Relief Expand All
ExpandHeat therapy
Heat therapy can be used to help manage pain on an ongoing basis. Heat is generally best for aches, pains and cramping because it helps to relax tense muscles.9 Heat can also be effective in managing chronic muscle pain, stiff or sore joints and arthritic pain.14

Applying heat helps to encourage circulation in the area or areas in which you are experiencing pain. This improved blood flow can help lessen the pain. You may want to consider one of the following methods for applying heat: 14
• Putting a heating pad on the area of the body where you feel the pain
• Soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower
• Using a hot water bottle on the site of pain

It is important to be careful so that you do not burn yourself. Regardless of the method you use to apply heat, the skin should NOT turn bright red and it is important that you make sure you don’t apply the heat for too long.14

The length of time you apply heat generally depends on the type of pain or injury you have experienced. For more serious pain or injuries, you may want to apply heat for up to two hours at a time, whereas for more minor pain or injury, you may only want to apply it for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time.15

ExpandCold therapy
Cold therapy can be an effective method of managing pain in joints and muscles that are swollen and inflamed. Cold therapy reduces the blood flow to the area, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation, and the resulting pain. Due to its numbing effects on the area, it may also help slow the transmission of pain signals from the affected site to the brain.14

You may want to consider one of the following methods of applying cold:14
• Soaking in a cold tub
• Applying a homemade icepack (such as a bag of ice or a bag of frozen vegetables)
• Using a store-bought, ready-made icepack
• Soaking a wash cloth in cold water and applying it to the site of pain

It is important to limit the amount of exposure your skin has to cold and ice. Try applying cold for 10-15 minutes, three to four times a day.9

ExpandMassage
Massage is another treatment that can be used over the long-term to help manage pain. Massaging the area experiencing pain may provide some relief or, if this area is too tender, a simple foot or hand massage may provide some pain relief because of its relaxing effects.9

ExpandWeight and stress management
Weight and stress management are also important things to consider for long-term pain relief. Diet and exercise work together very effectively to help keep your weight down, and alleviate stress on your weight-bearing joints.

ExpandProper Sleep
Proper sleep is important but can be difficult to achieve for a person experiencing pain. Here are some tips you may want to consider to help improve your quality and quantity of sleep:16
• Stop or at least limit your caffeine consumption
• Limit the amount of alcohol you consume, particularly during the evening
• Try not to exercise vigorously in the evening
• Practice relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing

If your pain causes sleep problems two to three times a night and you are not able to fall asleep again afterwards, you should consider talking to your doctor.16

ExpandFocus on healthy eating
Focus on healthy eating: eating well is important for all of us, regardless of whether or not we are experiencing pain. Using Canada’s Food Guide can help you make sure you’re getting your daily dietary requirements for optimum health.17

Eating well and being active can offer many health benefits including:17
• Better overall health
• Lower risk of disease
• A healthy body weight
• Feeling better
• More energy
• Stronger muscles and bones

Here are some simple tips that you may want to follow that will help you eat better:18
• Eat breakfast every day
• Eat vegetable and fruits with every meal and as snacks
• Order smaller portions when eating out
• Take the time to savour every bite – eating too quickly makes it difficult for you to know
when your stomach is full
• Avoid skipping meals
• Drink water when you are thirsty and try to limit high calorie, sweetened drinks

A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can be found in many foods including cold-water fish, ground flaxseed and walnuts, can provide you with anti-inflammatory benefits.

Calcium and Vitamin D are great bone builders! Boost your intake with calcium and Vitamin D rich foods, or consider a supplements like Citracal® if you’re not getting the recommended 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of calcium per day from the foods you eat.

ExpandMaintain a healthy weight
Maintain a healthy weight: Extra weight puts stress on your weight-bearing joints (knees, hips and feet). According to the Arthritis Society, losing just 10 pounds can reduce pressure on the knees by 40 pounds. 1. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Pain: Hope through research. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/detail_chronic_pain.htm#175033084, accessed June 8, 2012.
9. Canadian Pain Coalition. Are there things I can do besides taking medication that can help my pain? http://www.canadianpaincoalition.ca/index.php/en/help-centre/conquering-pain/help-my-pain, accessed June 8, 2012.
14. Everyday Health. Heat or cold for chronic muscle pain? http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management/using-cold-and-heat.aspx, accessed July 10, 2012.
15. Spine Health. How to apply heat therapy. http://www.spine-health.com/print/treatment/heat-therapy-cold-therapy/how-apply-heat-therapy, accessed July 10, 2012.
16. Lavigne G, on behalf of the National Sleep Foundation. Pain and sleep: ask the expert. http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/ask-the-expert/pain-and-sleep, accessed July 10, 2012.
17. Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide: Maintaining health habits. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/maintain-adopt/index-eng.php, accessed July 10, 2012.
18. Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide: Foods to limit. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/maintain-adopt/limit-eng.php, accessed July 10, 2012.