You're injured (e.g. from a bullet/stab wound) and alone. You can't move around much without dealing with the pain first. There isn't much time; you need to get out of here soon.

You don't have any specialist medical equipment around, but maybe you can improvise some pain relief based on what the environment affords.

The environment can be chosen to suit the plot, but what environment would realistically contain substances and implements which could be used to get immediate, temporary, significant reduction in pain to a small region of the body? And what would the side-effects be?


closed as off-topic by Renan, Paul TIKI, AngelPray, SZCZERZO KŁY, nzaman Apr 27 '18 at 14:55

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  • $\begingroup$ Alcohol. If you drink enough of it to knock yourself out, you won't feel any pain. Other than that, I think this question is off-topic - it is about a story set in a world, not about world building itself. $\endgroup$ – Renan Apr 27 '18 at 13:32
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    $\begingroup$ Seriously. Read a book people. EVERY survival guide will tell you to use willow bark because it's basically aspirin. $\endgroup$ – SZCZERZO KŁY Apr 27 '18 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Describe your environment, then work out what is usable. If the victim is in a hospital, for example, this question would be fairly redundant $\endgroup$ – nzaman Apr 27 '18 at 14:54
  • $\begingroup$ Spit is a mild anaesthetic. Probably wont make a huge difference though. $\endgroup$ – Tyler S. Loeper Apr 27 '18 at 16:16
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    $\begingroup$ Having experienced extreme pain and debilitating injury through massive blunt-force trauma, I can tell you that absent directly structural issues from bullet or stab wound, absent the bullet being high velocity / larger calibre and ripping out chunks, immediately after receiving a significant wound, your body is massively flooded with adrenaline and cortisol; you feel an incredible urge to do something even when you're immobilized, so if you weren't immobilized, you'd have 15-20 minutes of pain suppression and energy to work with, but risk of blood loss and secondary injury. $\endgroup$ – GerardFalla Apr 27 '18 at 18:36

I think that anything strong enough to stop pain would risk your life even more. Climbers with broken bones after a fall have waited rescue for hours thanks to endorphines. Juliane Koepcke walked for a week through a jungle with a broken collarbone and infected wounds.

But if you want to use an anaesthetic, wolfsbane (aconite) was used over the skin to cure nerve pain. It is a poison, of course, so it can kill you if you aren't careful, but it produces a numbing sensation.

Because opium was very expensive, in the Middle Ages they used aconite (and mandrake, but I think it is even more dangerous) to sedate.


Tourniquet. If you tie it tight enough, you will lose feeling in that limb. Is it safe? Certainly not. But it both avoids massive blood loss and allows you to ignore the injury until in safety.


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