A new fracture is often very painful and pain relief is very important. Once a fracture is immobilised in a cast (stopped from moving), this can provide adequate pain relief. Elevating the affected arm or leg on a few pillows or cushions can also help to reduce the swelling thus also providing pain relief.

Medication for pain control is taken in a controlled fashion. The safest approach is to start with paracetamol/acetaminophen (best known as Tylenol or Panadol), as per the instructions on the packet. This is most effective when taken regularly and has minimal side effects. When regularly taken, this is enough to control pain. Do not take analgesia for any longer than necessary.

In addition, an anti-inflammatory can be taken with paracetamol/ acetaminophen, for example, ibuprofen or aspirin which are both available without needing a prescription. Diclofenac can also be taken. These tablets have more commonly known tradenames so check the packet when buying. Anti-inflammatories can thin the lining of the stomach and over an extended period can slow bone healing. Beware of any stomach pain or upset and consult your doctor or pharmacist if needed.

Beyond simple analgesia, stronger painkillers are available on prescription. This includes opioid medication, for example, tramadol. This can cause several side-effects that are listed in the instructions that accompany the medication. Opiates are well known for their pain-killing abilities but have several side-effects including addiction, nausea and an itchy rash.