The predominant medical view for centuries has been that pain is a symptom, a subjective experience by an individual which is the consequence of some kind of damage or disease.
Pain has been associated with a wide range of injury and disease and is sometimes the disease itself.
Some conditions may have pain and associated symptoms arising from a specific cause, such as postoperative pain or pain associated with malignancy.
When it comes to joints, muscles and bones, pain is undoubtebly a main protagonist in several of the medical conditions described in both orthopaedics and rheumatology: from sprains , strains and contusions as a results of sport injuries, to osteoarthritis along with other degenerative disease.
Traditionally, western medicine includes pain among one of the five classical signs of inflammation described by the first physicians: “rubor, tumor, dolor, calor, functio laesa “(redness, swelling, pain, heat, loss of function). Inflammation from the Latin ‘ignite, set alight’ is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli such as pathogens, damaged cells or irritants, which disposes of dead or dying tissue and promotes the renewal of normal tissue. Therefore, inflammation is a physiological process, the way our body preserves itself.
The chapter of analgesic and anti-inflammatory treatments is wide, as pain can impair people’s daily routine, preventing them from moving, working and living a normal life, that’s why the history of pain relief is long and dates back to the Sumerians who left us the earliest written reference to the cultivation of opium, which was the remedy of those times, while the Druids used willow bark extract as an anti-inflammatory drug (as a matter of fact, the well-known Aspirin still contains the same chemical).
Although pain can be a ‘great protector’ as it encourages to take extra care of an injured area until the healing process is completed, across Europe, 500 million working days are currently lost each year as a result of chronic and acute pain. Therefore, the social and economic impact of pain is not difficult to understand.
Nowadays, analgesic and anti-inflammatory range from natural home-made formulations, suggested by grandmas, parents and friends, to innovative products.
Diclofenac is a well-known anti-inflammatory drug which is effective in a wide variety of ailments from muscular and tendon injuries, to back pain, sciatica, as well as menstrual cramps.
The anti-inflammatory and pain relieving activity of diclofenac is mainly related to the inhibition of COX-2, the isoform of cyclooxygenase involved in pain and inflammation development. In addition, diclofenac is endowed with other anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
Innovative formulations containing the Epolamine Salt of Diclofenac are now available. Thanks to its favourable permeation characteristics, this drug provides a prompt relieve from pain caused by soft tissue injury and musculoskeletal disorders.
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