- From headaches to back pain, many ailments can be treated quickly and effectively at home.
- To treat a headache, try taking ibuprofen.
- Ginger may combat nausea.
Many people deal with irritating everyday ailments of some kind, such as headaches, nosebleeds, congestion, and back pain.
Treating these annoying afflictions, however, doesn’t have to be a pain, as medical professionals suggest there are quick fixes out there that may offer some relief.
To help bring those helpful remedies to your radar, we asked three physicians about how to effectively treat sprains, strains, scrapes, nausea, and more.
Here are quick fixes for everyday ailments.
Use ibuprofen for headaches
“For most types of pain (particularly headaches, muscular pain, period pain, and toothaches), the most effective treatment is ibuprofen,” said Dr. Clare Morrison of MedExpress.
The relief starts within an hour and lasts for up to six hours, according to Morrison.
Dr. Morrison did tell INSIDER, however, that it’s best to take ibuprofen with a glass of water and something to eat. This helps to avoid irritating the stomach.
Use a cold press for sprains and strains
“For sprains and strains, the application of a cold compress can help, particularly in the early stages,” Dr. Morrison told INSIDER.
For hurt ankles, she said it also helps to elevate the foot, and wear a firm tubular bandage to help minimize any swelling.
Invest in a heating pad for back pain
“For back pain, a heating pad can provide relief,” Dr. Morrison explained.
She said, however, that it’s best to try and keep moving, and when you do sit down, be sure that you have adequate lumbar support by putting a cushion behind the small of your back. You’ll also want to avoid bending or lifting, she added.
Fight constipation with the right food choices
According to Dr. Morrison, the simplest remedy for constipation is drinking plenty of fruit juice, preferably chilled, first thing in the morning.
In addition, she said she also recommended obtaining plenty of fiber through food sources such as fruit, vegetable, wholemeal bread, oats, and nuts. You’ll also want to make sure you have good fluid intake, she said.
Make ginger tea for nausea and bloating
“Ginger contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties and has been shown to be efficacious in resolving symptoms of generalized nausea, nausea associated with pregnancy, and nausea associated with chemotherapy,” said Monisha Bhanote,triple board-certified physician, FASCP, FCAP.
The simplest way to use it is to make a ginger tea from freshly grated ginger steeped in hot water for 10 to 15 minutes, she said.
Consume turmeric to ease symptoms of arthritis
“Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal plant that has a host of benefits,” Bhanote told INSIDER.
Further, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a preliminary study showed curcuminoids, the compounds found in turmeric, may be as effective as ibuprofen for controlling knee pain from osteoarthritis. They do note, however, that no strong studies support the use of curcuminoids to reduce inflammation.
Coconut oil may boost your skin’s hydration and your oral health
“Studies demonstrate that coconut oil can increase the hydration and moisture in the skin and [may] reduce symptoms of eczema,” Bhanote explained.
She added that coconut oil has been beneficial in a process called oil pulling, which can kill the harmful bacteria in the oral cavity, leading to improved dental health and decreased halitosis (bad breath).
Gargle salt water for sore throat relief
“Doing a salt water gargle may temporarily help irritated throats, flush out toxins, and loosen mucus,” Bhanote said.
Make a salt water gargle with a half teaspoon of salt and warm water, gargle two to three times a day, and spit out the water after gargling, she recommended.
The salt will draw water out of oral tissues while making a barrier that locks out pathogens from getting back in, according to Bhanote.
Treat nosebleeds with care
“Pinch the side of your nose that’s bleeding and lean forward, not back, for about 15 to 20 minutes,” said Dr. Neha Vyas, a family medicine specialist at Cleveland Clinic.
Use an ice pack on the side that is bleeding as you pinch it closed, she said, and don’t blow your nose.
Chew gum and drink water to help with dry mouth
“There are several options, such as staying hydrated and sipping water,” Vyas told INSIDER.
You can also chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy, she recommended. She did advise staying away from alcohol, caffeine, and acidic juices which can make the condition worse.
Try to keep cuts and scrapes dry
“Keep the area of the cut clean and dry,” Vyas said. There is no need to cover it unless it is producing a yellow discharge or pus, she said.
And, if you are around dirt, or an area prone to attract germs, she said that you can cover your cut or scrape with an adhesive bandage.
Leave ear wax alone
“Ear wax is self-cleaning, so leave it alone,” Vyas said. When you wash your hair, try not to leave shampoo or soap residue in and around your ears, she suggested, and if you happen to use cotton swabs, don’t put them in your ear canal.