Aches & Pains

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Experiencing Aches & Pains

aches

Common causes of aches & pains

From growing pains as a child, to backache as you get older, people of all ages experience aches and pains. While it’s not unusual to feel a little twinge here or there, especially as you age, it's important to be aware of the causes of common body aches and pains and the best way to treat them

Why do I get aches & pains?

Pain is your body’s natural way of telling you that something is not quite right. There could be many reasons why you are experiencing aches and pains, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common aches and pains you could experience.

Back Pain

Back pain, particularly lower back pain, is common and can be very painful. It’s not always possible to determine the specific cause of back pain, but some causes include: 

  • Lifting incorrectly
  • Poor posture, for example slouching at your desk at work
  • Sleeping awkwardly or on the sagging mattress
  • Lack of exercising 

Most back pain will improve on its own within a few weeks, but there are a few things you can do to help manage your back pain: 

  • Keep moving
  • Do a few simple back exercises and stretches
  • Have a warm bath or apply heat back to help relieve pain
  • Take a simple pain reliever, like Nurofen, which can help to provide relief from back pain. If you are over 65 years, taking other medicines, pregnant or breastfeeding, seek advice from your healthcare professional first 

Read more about back pain here.

Neck Pain

Neck pain is another common body ache which is thought to affect 2 in 3 people at some point in their life. If you do have neck pain, you might also experience stiffness in your neck and shoulders, as well as pain in your neck, shoulders and even your head. Neck pain is thought to be the result of a combination of muscle tightness and inflammation. Some common causes include: 

  • Sleeping awkwardly
  • Muscle strain form poor posture
  • Using a computer for a prolonged period of time
  • Injury e.g. whiplash 

The following tips could help you to treat your neck pain: 

  • Some people find that applying heat to the area can help soothe neck pain

Strains and sprains

Strains and sprains occur when muscles, joints and ligaments have been used too much, too soon, or too often. Damage to these soft tissues is usually accompanied by painful inflammation. 

Muscle strains and sprains often occur when playing sports - usually if you change speed or direction suddenly. They can also be a result of tension, stress, poor sitting and lifting posture as well as prolonged and repetitive movements like typing or writing. 

Symptoms of muscle sprains and strains can include some or all of the following: 

  • Swelling, bruising, redness or tenderness
  • Muscle pain during rest
  • Pain when moving the joint
  • Inability to use the joint as normal or put any weight on it
  • Muscle spasms 

To help prevent future sprain or strain injuries you should: 

  • Warm up before exercise
  • Stretch properly after exercise to cool down
  • Replace your sports shoes when necessary
  • Ease into exercise by increasing your activity levels slowly
  • Ensure you are adopting the correct sitting posture 

If you are suffering with a painful sprain or strain, the best way to treat it is to: 

  • Rest that part of the body
  • Take steps to reduce swelling and inflammation in the first few days - follow the PRICE principle (Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate)
  • Take a pain reliever alongside PRICE treatment, such as Nurofen Express which contains ibuprofen, known for its anti-inflammatory properties

Most sprains or strains will feel better after a week or two, but it’s best to avoid strenuous exercise, such as running, for up to 8 weeks to avoid further damage. In more severe cases it can take several months to feel back to normal after a sprain or strain injury.

Infection

It’s tough having to deal with the miserable symptoms of cold & flu, such as shivering, fever and a sore throat. But your body can also feel achy and sore as a result of infection. These body aches and pains are often described as a dull, continuous pain all over the body. 

These pains can be the result of your immune system releasing chemicals into your body to help fight off infection. These chemicals send signals to your brain which you can feel as pain.

More complex problems

Body aches and pains can sometimes be the result of complex, long-term problems. For example, in nerve pain (or neuropathic pain), signalling systems in your spinal cord and brain may be damaged. The body interprets the erratic signals as aches, pains and other sensations such as tingling and numbness.

When you should be concerned about aches and pains

In most cases, rest, gentle exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way towards a natural recovery. Pain relievers, such as Nurofen, can help temporarily relieve aches and pains, so that they don’t stop you completely.

For some people constant aches could be due to some underlying cause.

If your pain persists after a couple of days, don't ignore it - visit your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible.

Nurofen Express 200mg tablets contain Ibuprofen as Sodium Dihydrate, indicated for headache, backache and the symptoms of cold and flu. Always read the label.