Pain Relief Ointment: An Overview

One of the oldest medical problems of man is pain, and the management of it in the absence of complete removal. From ancient medicine men and shamans to modern day physicians and sports physiotherapists, every one has their own recommendation of the 'best' ointment for pain relief. Given this trend, even the simplest study of the vast array of genuine and so-called pain relief ointment from across the globe starting tens of centuries ago until present-day medication can be a daunting task to undertake. However, the essence of pain ointment is common to most types, and a closer look with reveal their similarities.

Types of pain relief ointment: Herbal Alleviant

By chronological order, herbal ointment is by far the oldest and most popular kind, and is used all over the world in some form or other. Tiger balm, for example, is one of the leading brands of herbal pain relief ointments on the market whose origins can be traced back to the time of the great Chinese emperors. Its history has seen the use of tiger bone as a key ingredient, but the product is now completely herbal. Its effects not only include deep pain muscular relief, but also respite from stomach aches, mosquito bites, heartburn and migraines. Its use is as widespread as it is flexible, spanning more than half of the 190-odd countries in the world.

Types Of Pain Relief Ointment: Old Versus New

Other categories of ointment can include animal fat composites, root extracts, and a host of other compounds that are extremely effective in controlling pain. The ancient science of Ayurveda in India has many types of pain relief ointment that can bring relief from pain caused by fractures, arthritis, and several other conditions and afflictions. Chinese medicine too is a great contributor to the field of pain management, with tiger products being core ingredients until very recently. Western medicine's products, while being able to bring immediate and sometimes permanent relief, are relatively under-tested, as several reports on FDA approved drugs showed in subsequent independent studies.

The Pain-Killing Process: How Ointment Works

Pain relief ointment works primarily by the processes of fomentation, or the topical application of heat to reduce pain, inflammation and swelling. The rubifacient nature of the ointment also serves to dilate the blood vessels and bring more blood to the surface, where it can facilitate quicker healing. It also soothes the surface of the skin with its mild anesthetic effect so that the pain is masked rather than removed. It's something like banging your head continuously against a brick wall for the entire duration of your mother-in-law's visit: a greater pain will always mask a lesser one. Or maybe the other way round: you invite her round for a meal every time you have a splitting headache. For this reason, periodic application is necessary to maintain the state of relief, as is the case with the mother-in-law.

Pain relief: Helping Hands From Unexpected Quarters

Over a period of time, the relief may actually be more of a psychological nature than a physiological one. The human mind is an amazing piece of machinery that can turn even the most unsuccessful unguent into a soul-saving salve. For example, several senior citizens claim that a particular brand of ointment cures them of aches and pains just by the smell; and all because they've been using it for the last 15 years or so. Truly, just as the faintest whiff of a barbecue can bring back pleasant childhood memories, the brain can make the connection between the smell of an ointment and immediate relief, and starts releasing its natural endorphins that actually do reduce the pain.

Commercial Aspects Of Pain Relief Ointment

No matter what your take is on pain relief ointment, it is impossible to deny the fact that they enjoy tremendous commercial success and are here to say. Whether oriental or occidental, these analgesics are gaining ground in a world where psychological stress is giving way to a myriad of physical symptoms, and no matter what type of relief they bring - temporary, long-lasting or permanent - they do help alleviate man's worst foe, pain.