Although ibuprofen is available over-the-counter (OTC), it also carries a number of side effects. That’s why it’s very important to use it properly. It is one of main types of NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which can be used to help relieve mild to moderate pain from various conditions. How about hernia pain?
Ibuprofen is a pain reliever, but not a cure!
Pain is not always bad, because it is also one of your body’s mechanisms to tell you that something is wrong. For instance, it’s normal to feel pain when your hand touches hot plates so you will get your hand off the hot plates right away! But it can also be a consequence from chronic health conditions such as arthritis and rheumatic diseases. In such cases, pain relievers such as ibuprofen may help soothe the pain.
Actually, ibuprofen doesn’t target the underlying cause of your pain. How does it work?
When tissues of your body get injured, certain chemicals are released to drive inflammation and then the nerves deliver the pain massage to the brain. Many pain relievers, including ibuprofen, soothe pain by blocking those chemicals so the brain doesn’t receive the pain message and what pain you feel relieves.
Again, there are a number of side effects from ibuprofen. So it’s important to make sure that the risks of taking this pain reliever must be weighed against the benefits it will provide. For effective use, take it for appropriate dose and duration directed by your doctor. Excessive use may lead to increased risk of unwanted effects.
Some of possible side effects include diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, indigestion, belching, abdominal bloating, feeling of fullness, nausea, and vomiting. Improper use might also provoke shortness of breath, itching skin, problems with urination, bruising, unusual bleeding, and chest pain.
So though it’s available OTC, this doesn’t mean that it has no any risks. There are some precautions to be considered! To keep safe, take it with your doctor’s prescription particularly true if you need to use it for a long time.
Precautions: it’s not recommended for people with problems of the heart, stomach (stomach ulcer for example), anaphylaxis (a type of allergic reaction), and aspirin allergy. Also, don’t take it during pregnancy and breastfeeding!
Does it help hernia pain?
Ibuprofen may help relieve hernia pain for a while, but not to cure or fix the hernia. Surgery is the only way to fix or repair the hole of your abdominal wall where the abdominal tissues protrude through. Ibuprofen could also be one of pain relievers your doctor prescribes after hernia repair surgery.
A few related articles you might also like to read:
- Ways to prevent hernia from worsening.
- Ways to cope with hernia and back pain.
- Non-surgical treatments for hernias.
A few decades ago, early surgery for hernia was often recommended to repair and fix the so there is no chance for the condition to turn into serious. But today, we know well that this option is not always necessary.
Sometimes watchful waiting approach is more recommended if the condition is asymptomatic or if it doesn’t bother you a lot, because surgeries for hernia are not going without risks. For guidance about this issue, see also the comparison between early hernia repair surgery and watchful waiting in here!
But wait-and-see approach also carries the risk of strangulation – a rare, extremely dangerous complication from hernia. Strangulation is a condition in which a portion of your intestine or abdominal tissues gets pinched (trapped), causing the bulge of hernia become harder to be pushed back in. Without immediate surgical intervention, this may cut off the blood supply to the affected area and cause the death of the affected tissues.
So even though your doctor says it’s OK to delay surgery, it’s still important to keep monitoring the condition. See your doctor without delay if you experience:
- Pain in the area that gets worse or doesn’t relieve with lifestyle measures.
- The bulge (lump) that turns red or dark.
- Incarcerated hernia, when the bulge is not able to be pushed back to your abdominal cavity with manual pressure. It could be so painful. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty to pass gas /stools. Without immediate prompt treatment, it will cause strangulation.
Factors that affect the decision of whether or not you need to have surgery vary. But in most cases, nowadays most doctors recommend surgery if the condition causes enough discomfort (pain) or something else you want to have it fixed. For example, you may consider surgery (even though your pain is mild and not intense) if you will do a lot of traveling.
And when hernia repair surgery is your option, make sure to compare pros and cons of surgical procedure you will take – talk this comprehensively with your doctor or surgeon! If you’re taking any certain medicine (including ibuprofen), tell your doctor! It may be necessary to discontinue that medicine for a while before your procedure.