When I was younger, I would only take non-prescription pain killers (Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, and the like) when I actually had a headache or muscle pain. Now, at 69, after a "long" day (say, 10 or 12 miles) of hiking, I find that I'll take a dose as a preventive, rather than palliative, measure. (I nearly said "prophylactic rather than palliative, but I've seen how my fellow elders' minds work. )
What do you all do (besides the obvious: "Don't try to walk that far in a day!")
I have a prescription for 500mg Naproxen for arthritis. I don't take them normally until it hurts. However if I know I'll be pushing it I'll take 1000MG in advance. It's the maximum allowed dose but since I use them sparingly it's not dangerous. At leat that's what my Dr. says.
I skip pain killers pretty much all the time, regardless of how I feel. Can't remember the last time I actually took any pain killers, but it's been a number of years. I do carry them though. I've dealt with a bad lower back for quite some time now, and a painful right shoulder when wearing a pack, but don't take anything for them. Backpacking trips are usually around 15-20 miles a day.
In the past I got frequent headaches so I took aspirin. Tylenol never worked. The last few years Tylenol works fine for my occasional headaches. When hiking I frequently get leg cramps when I lay down in the tent. I take Ibuprofen and the cramps usually go away in less than five minutes. My doctor tells me that they cannot act that fast but I have experienced it on too many occasions to dismiss the result. The cramps are too real to dismiss as imagination and they do not go away until I take the Ibuprofen.
I’ve used a variety of stuff through the years. At present I carry ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain and swelling and Imitrex for migraine headaches. I also carry six oxycodone in my first aid kit. The oxy has been in the FAK for over five years; probably past it’s sell-by date by now. At one time I just carried aspirin.
I never thought about taking something before I lay down. My first thought is that I do not want to take Tylenol and then a half hour later take Ibuprofen. I am not sure if mixing the two would be a problem.
Loc: Central Illinois near Springfi...
I have muscle and joint pain all of the time, but I tend not to take OTC pain medications before the fact, althogh my doctor has suggested taking some at bedtime. I prefer Naproxin over Ibuprofen even though I don't feel like Naproxin works as well. I have night time cramps often, mostly when I stretch. This is a problem when sleeping on the ground, because I have to get up and walk around to relieve the cramp. I find it very difficult to put my pants on while sitting on the ground because this often triggers cramps. A hammock is much better from that perspective, but I'm a side sleeper and don't do well in hammocks. I've avoided Ibuprofen for some years because of the adverse GI effects. I might try just one before bedtime to see if it improves sleep and relieves the cramps. The tricky part about the GI effects is that you don't know that you've got it until you've got it. I do know someone that had GI bleeding due to Ibuprofen.
I unfortunately get very consistent knee pain when I backpack, particularly on rough trails, big granite steps up or down, and likewise often feel it when I sleep afterwards. It's very disturbing and I have a suspicion there is a genetic component of sensitivity to pain involved, as my dad was a major pain sufferer and always medicating for it. Anyhow, I certainly don't want to let it stop my backpacking or talus hopping! I have a prescription for meloxicam, which is a once a day NSAID, ie like naprosyn and ibuprofen. It helps and feels easier on my stomach than other NSAIDs, but I still end up taking tylenol, too, sometimes. My doctor does have me take annual kidney and liver function tests to make sure it isn't harming me. Maybe a more useful thread for me would be one on preventive exercises for knee pain!
I learned something last week. I had a headache about noon while I was out in the shop. I did not want to go into the house so I looked and I had some generic acetaminophen. I don't know where it came from, probably the dollar store. It was acetaminophen PM but I thought that it would work just fine so I took two. By the time I went in for supper I could hardly keep my eyes open. After supper I usually read but I kept dozing off. I finally watched a couple of YouTube videos and went to bed. If I have a problem with falling asleep I know what to take.
I'm not surprised! When it says PM on it, that means to take it at night to help you sleep, as it has benadryl (diphenhidramine) added.Not only is benadryl used for allergies, it also is an over-the-counter sleeping pill.