There are many ways to relieve or alleviate pain that do not involve the usage of drugs. One quick and easy method that most athletes are likely very familiar with is ice. Generally speaking, ice is best used for the acute pain related to injuries like a sprained ankle. Heat can also be an effective pain reliever, and it is generally used with more chronic types of pain.
Exercise can be another form of pain relief. The physical exercise itself releases chemicals called endorphins that interact with pain receptors in the brain and reduce your perception to the pain.
A great deal of pain relief can be achieved through massages. It is true that massages can be painful or can cause additional pain, but when properly done, the massage is likely to relieve a great deal of muscle pain. Massage therapy has also proven to be effective with arthritis pain as well.
Electrical stimulation therapy is another drug-free pain relief method. A painless electric current is delivered to nerve fibers and generates heat. Stiffness is generally relieved and endorphins are released.
Acupuncture is another method of pain relief that involves the insertion of small needles along specific points in the body.
Finally, topical lotions can aid in pain relief and are often applied directly on the pain location.