Feel the pain it’s good for you.
Taking pain killers is a really good idea when you are in pain and wanting to rest or sleep as the reduction in the level of pain will allow better rest and deeper sleep improving the quality of the healing and speeding up that healing.
However taking pain killers to go to work, be that hard physical labour like housework, digging the garden, farming or building or more gentle tasks like computing, washing up, or telephoning masks the pain and allows us to work on through and to do real irreversible damage. Were we able to feel that pain we would know it was long gone time to stop.
When we take pain killers we stop feeling the true level of pain and, especially when we are physically doing, we can go on damaging tissues beyond all reason, to inflict real harm where there was only mild damage. Increasing healing times from a matter of weeks to months or years, if ever.
Even in relatively sedentary jobs like computing we may be concentrating so hard that with pain killers the level of pain that is being ignored as we stay almost still can be doing serious harm before we become so uncomfortable that we move about and give it relief.
Personally I normally prefer locally applied gels, lotions and sprays that penetrate the skin and relieve the pain where the cause is, rather than taking them orally, where from the stomach they enter the blood stream and circulate to where they are needed. With local application any adverse reaction will be noticed on the skin but with oral administration the lining of the stomach may be becoming seriously inflamed before the analgesic (painkilling) effect is overcome and the nervous system starts to report the problem strongly enough for us to become aware of it.
Anti-inflammatories can be pain killers because their effect of reducing inflammation does also reduce the pain.
Ibuprofen products work for men as both anti-inflammatories and as analgesics (painkillers) but for women they have little or no analgesic (painkilling) effect directly except as they are anti-inflammatories. For women they reduce the inflammation and so can reduce pain indirectly.
Aspirin and Paracetamol based products both work as analgesics and anti-inflammatories for both men and women.
The discovery of this has enforced a reassessment of how women feel pain. Childbirth holds the clue, women’s pain tolerance in the last three months of pregnancy rises phenomenally. As a result of this realisation there will in due course be a whole new range of painkillers based on hormones, that will work for both men and women.
The relevance is that women can take Ibuprofen products and go on to work, but for men there is no anti inflammatory that is not also an analgesic, so they must go to work without anything in the system.