You can achieve pain relief naturally. So many people are suffering with life-distracting pain every day, not realizing that alternatives to traditional pain relief exist. Natural means of relieving pain are an effective solution – without resorting to an expensive prescription that tears holes in your wallet and, for some people, stomach lining.
Legions of people react to the first symptoms of pain by reaching for a bottle of pills in an effort to manage those symptoms, whether they’re experiencing chronic or intermittent pain. Some people, maybe fearing that a prescription pain pill is more than they need, grab one of the many available bottles of over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) in their quest for pain relief. The assumption is that medications available over-the-counter are a safer alternative. But these drugs, whether they’re a prescription such as Celebrex or an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, come with a host of side effects that can’t be ignored.
NSAIDs, both prescription and over-the-counter, work along the same principle: They block the COX enzymes that lead to inflammation and pain. But those enzymes serve another purpose by helping to protect the tissues of your stomach and kidneys. This is why many people experience stomach-related symptoms, such as nausea and ulcers, and for some, one of the deadlier scenarios of kidney and liver failure.
Conventional medicine has relied on pills, but also more invasive strategies. If you go to your doctor and complain of ongoing pain, especially in your knees or back, you may be urged to have surgery to “correct” the pain. But these surgeries need to be considered very carefully because rarely are they a permanent fix that ends pain. Also, they’re expensive. For example, exercise has been found to be as effective as surgery for knee pain.1 It makes little sense to go through the trauma, risk and expense of surgery if there’s so little to gain in return.
What you need is a solution that gets rid of the pain and, even better, has beneficial side effects that promote wellness throughout your body. That may seem to be a tall order, but with natural pain relief, it’s quite possible.
Pain is an effect, the red flag that is the result of some underlying cause. Its sources can vary, and it can be initiated anywhere in the body. Arthritis pain, back pain, shoulder and neck discomfort, wrist pain, headaches, foot pain -literally, it runs the gamut. It could have originated from an old sports injury, a fall, a car accident, or for no easily discernible cause. The reason many people don’t find lasting relief from their pain is due to their focusing entirely on treating the symptom itself, but never digging any deeper to tackle the underlying reason for the pain.
To achieve successful pain relief, symptoms should continue to be treated. Pain is distracting, and you need to feel well enough so that you’ll be able to focus on a strategy to resolve the underlying cause and either lessen or eliminate it altogether.
These are natural pain relief measures you can use to help relieve symptoms of pain that have just occurred:
Injury: Ice for the first couple of days to reduce inflammation, then moist heat after the first to second day, which will boost blood circulation and promote tissue healing.
Strained muscles: Add magnesium (such as Epsom salts) or sodium bicarbonate to a hot bath to help relieve inflammation and soothe muscle strains.
To work on managing pain that is chronic or intermittent, there are a variety of options from which to choose.
Relaxation: When in pain, we tend to take shorter breaths. Be conscious of how you’re breathing and whether it’s shallow. Draw out your breath, as it will help relax your body. That dispersal of tension will also help disperse pain symptoms. Think of childbirth and how breathing methods have been used for years – It’s a way to work through the pain and relax.
- MSM Sulfur: MSM sulfur supports healthy connective tissues like tendons, muscle, and ligaments and thus is helpful for health challenges such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, bursitis, gout, and muscle pain. The substance also removes toxins from the blood and lymphatic system.
- White willow bark: Willow is one of the natural sources of aspirin. The extract can be used to treat arthritis, backaches and joint pain. Studies have show that it outpaces placebo in treating low back pain.3
Nutritional treatment: You can help relieve your pain symptoms through what you eat. There are foods that contribute to an inflammatory state, such as the over-processed, sugary, high-fat foods that line grocery store shelves.
Eat an anti-inflammatory diet, which can take the fire out of chronic pain. Your meals should revolve around whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. Focus on getting the following nutrients, which have anti-inflammatory effects.
- Omega-3: This healthful fatty acid can be found in flax seed, algae and wheat germ.
- Antioxidants: These vitamins and minerals, which include vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin E and selenium, clean up free radicals that can lead to inflammation and tissue damage. In the produce section and at the farmer’s market, go for the rainbow effect: choose from a wide, colorful variety of fruits and vegetables.
Exercise: It may seem like the last thing you should do, but exercise can actually help alleviate pain. “Feel good” endorphins are released through exercise and flood the body. Strengthened muscles can also help support bones and cartilage. And better flexibility will help keep your body from freezing within a limited range of motion.
“This article appears courtesy of Early to Rise’s Total Health Breakthroughs which offers alternative health solutions for mind, body and soul”