I’m sure that all of you are no stranger to pain relief. In fact, you’re probably more versed in it than your average first year med student! Through my instagram account and attending support groups, I have learnt about many different forms of medication, alongside those my doctor has informed me of.
CBD – this comes in many forms, and can sometimes be overlooked by people because of its origins. CBD is taken from the cannabis plant, and does not contain THC – the element that produces a high. CBD without THC can be purchased in the UK, I get mine from Holland and Barratt, however I am unsure on the laws surrounding THC in other countries. Some of the forms that it is most commonly found in to ease pain are oils, vaping oils, bath bombs and body butters. Personally, I have found that it helps not only with endo related pain, but also headaches, anxiety and stress. If this is something that you are interested in using to help with your pain, my advice would be to research it in great detail before buying anything, and to make sure you are buying from somewhere you trust. As this is still quite an uncommon method of pain relief, and there isn’t really anymonitoring or regulation around it (apart from it is only legal if it does not contain any hallucinogenic elements), it is much better to make sure you are buying from a reputable established company. This is why I chose Holland andBarratt.
Magnesium – I’m sure this is a much more commonly used method of pain relief than the point above. Many within the endo community talk about how much magnesium helps them. This can come in a few different forms, bath salts are one that is used quite a lot, but it can also be taken in supplement form. Recently I have also seen magnesium available in the form of a moisturiser, gel and an oil spray, all can be applied directly to the area in pain. I haven’t tried either of these, but I am looking forward to having an opportunity to.
Heat – whether this is in the form of a hot bath, heating pad, microwaveable pad, stick on patch or hot water bottle there are many different ways that heat can be used to provide pain relief. What you may not be aware of is that heat pads can cause permanent marks on the skin if used at a high heat for prolonged periods of time.
Medication – from birth control, to NSAIDs and opioids, there are multiple different medications that may be prescribed to you by your doctor. I won’t list them here, but that could go on for quite a while! What you are prescribed will also depend on your family medical history, where your endometriosis has been found and the type of pain you are experiencing. For example, codeine has been known to cause constipation, so if you have endometriosis on your bowel you will not be prescribed anything containing codeine.
TENS – this is an electrical device that blocks pain from being received by the nerves by using an electrical pulse. I have written posts previously about the My Livia TENS device, and you can read them here for more background information. One big positive for TENS units is that they are usually small and can be clipped on you, so you can still get on with things whilst being provided with drug free pain relief.
The common denominator between all of the pain relief methods listed above (and any others not listed) is that they will all have a different impact on each individual who uses them. So far, I haven’t tried any pain relief methods that I haven’t liked (I’ll let you know if there are any though), but depending on the type of pain I am experiencing I will reach for different methods to relieve it.