The Right Pain Relief for Every Ache

By , Alyssa Shaffer, Woman's Day
Backache? Upset stomach? Before you hit the pharmacy or your medicine cabinet, discover which pain relievers are worth reaching for in this guide.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, Such as Ibuprofen, Naproxen Sodium and Aspirin

How they work: NSAIDs reduce inflammation associated with muscle and joint pain.

Know this: If you pop too many of these pills or have a sensitive stomach, you can experience side effects including nausea, dizziness and heartburn. 

Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

How it works: Acetaminophen relieves pain but doesn't treat inflammation.

Know this: Since acetaminophen does not affect the lining of your stomach (as NSAIDs do), it can have fewer side effects. Make sure you stick to the recommended dose because too much can lead to liver damage. Talk to your doctor before taking it for longer than 10 days.

Ointments (like Bengay, Icy Hot, Tiger Balm)

How they work: Gels and creams ease discomfort via distraction. By causing a cooling or warming sensation on your skin through an ingredient like menthol or capsaicin, your brain turns its attention away from the pain.

Know this: These products are for short-term relief and may irritate your skin. Try testing a dab on a small area first.

Click here for more pain relief tips from Woman’s Day.

More from Woman's Day:What helps your aches and pains feel better?

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