Hints & Tips

Taking Tablets for Pain Relief

  • If you are unable to see us quickly you may want to consider over the counter pain relief options.
  • Please seek advice from your GP or Pharmacist.
  • If you have recent heavy bruising or bleeding at the site of your pain, or you think you have broken a bone, do not take anti-inflammatory tablets as these increase bleeding in the body and will make your condition worse. If you are taking blood thinning tablets, you should not take anti-inflammatory drugs at the same time.
  • Anti-inflammatory tablets should be taken with food, or just after you have eaten a meal. This is to help avoid any stomach irritation.
  • Always follow the instructions on the packet for taking any medication. Take your medication regularly to give effective inflammation and pain relief. Missing doses or taking tablets one day and not the next, stops this from happening.
  • Your physiotherapist may advise you to apply anti-inflammatory gels to your skin (for example Voltarol or Ibuleve Gel) to help treat your condition. Do not apply these gels over broken skin, or anywhere you have a skin condition, or possible skin infection. These are mainly used in areas of strains and sprains and Osteoarthritis.

Hot and Cold Treatment?

  • If you have chronic, long term pain you might find heat is the best way to treat your pain.
  • If you have an acute short duration problem, where you are experiencing swelling, pain, redness and local heat increase in an area, ice might be more helpful than heat.
  • Hot and cold soaks are good to relieve swelling.
  • Always oil your skin first before applying an ice pack. This prevents the risk of causing ice burns to the skin.
  • Apply heat or ice for around ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
  • Heat can be applied by using a hot shower, a bath, a heat pad or placing a damp towel in the microwave to warm.


  • This is more common in the elderly and is encountered most often in the knees, hips, hands and spine.
  • Symptoms include joint pain, stiffness, swelling and limitation of movement.
  • Men often get more hip osteoarthritis, whilst women get it more often in the knee.
  • Osteoarthritis in the spine is a major cause of back pain and will cause stiffness especially on rising in the morning.
  • You may find heat helps your pain, but if your arthritic joint is hot and swollen, ice is a better treatment.
  • Your physiotherapist will advise you on pain relief treatments available for Osteoarthritis and specific exercises for your problem joint.

Good Posture at Work

Always aim to achieve a neutral position when seated at your workstation. The following information tells you how to start;


  • Do not work more than an hour in one position without a break
  • Sit in the chair so that your buttocks and thighs are well supported
  • Make sure there is equal pressure between the front and back of your thighs
  • Check you can get your hands under your thighs. This makes sure there is not too much pressure under your thighs
  • Adjust your seat height so that your feet are both firmly on the floor
  • Make sure your back is in contact with as much of the seat back as possible and adjust the back support so that it is comfortable against your lower spine
  • Do not have arm rests on your chair unless standing up is a regular part of your work. Unless these slide under the desk, they may prevent you from achieving a good position with your arms
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and your wrists in neutral with a comfortable right-angle position at your elbow joint.
  • Ensure your screen is adjusted to the correct height. Hold your head in a neutral position and look straight ahead you screen, you eyeline should ideally be 2-3cm below the top of the monitor.