Nature’s Prescription for Pain-Free Days

September 16, 2023

Nature’s Prescription for Pain-Free Days

Dealing with chronic pain can be debilitating, with many people relying heavily on over the counter medications, which may give some relief but come with a host of possible side effects. So before you reach for another painkiller, you may want to consider these seven natural remedies that have the potential to offer real relief. Always consult with your doctor about adding any of these treatments, especially if you have a chronic condition or you are on prescription medications to ensure you're following safe guidelines for implementing these.

  1. Exercise
    If your condition permits, don’t underestimate the benefits of maintaining good aerobic condition to manage your pain. Exercise helps your body release endorphins, which are naturally produced painkillers. These hormones heighten your pain threshold and can actually alter how you perceive pain. If intense exercise seems daunting, start with short walks or light activity and gradually increase your pace. Research supports exercise as a moderately effective treatment for chronic pain.
  2. Fish Oil
    Renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, fish oil can be a potent weapon against pain, as inflammation often plays a huge role in its cause. One study found that after consuming 1200 milligrams of fish oil daily, over half of participants discontinued their prescription painkillers within 75 days. Be sure to purchase a high quality fish oil that has been tested for heavy metals.
  3. Turmeric
    A staple in spicy dishes, especially in Indian cuisine, turmeric has notable anti-inflammatory properties. Combined with Devil's claw and bromelain, turmeric has been proven effective in relieving osteoarthritis pain. Participants in one study took two 650-milligram capsules of this combination multiple times daily and experienced significant relief.
  4. Resveratrol
    Present in red wine, grapes, and berries, resveratrol is known for its various health benefits, including pain management. Recent research shows that resveratrol operates at a cellular level to regulate pain.
  5. Heat and Cold Therapy
    Both heat and cold treatments can help to relieve pain. A hot Epsom salt bath can relax your mind and works to change the information coming from the nerves in the body to the brain. Ice works best on local pain, as it decreases local inflammation, so it’s crucial to know when to use each. For acute injuries like a twisted ankle, apply ice immediately to reduce swelling. For pain that can go on longer, like back spasms after a strain, heat is recommended. Taking a warm shower and gently massaging the painful area while letting the warm water run over the area can help to relieve painful spasms.
  6. Meditation
    Meditation can be quite effective in pain reduction, contrary to some people’s misconceptions. While there are structured methods, like mindfulness meditation, you can also customize your approach. One study found that chronic pain sufferers who practiced mindfulness meditation reported significant pain relief, reduced anxiety and depression, and improved mental well-being compared to those who didn't meditate.
  7. Collagen
    With normal wear and tear or the onset of osteoarthritis, our joints begin to break down – the cartilage thins and deteriorates which causes bones to rub against each other - extremely painful. The onset of joint pain causes us to limit our activity and change the way we live our lives. Collagen can help with this! Collagen has shown to be extremely effective at regenerating tissues in the joints and reducing the associated pain, inflammation and stiffness. Numerous studies have shown that marine collagen peptides relieve joint pain and increase joint mobility by stimulating your own collagen-producing cells located in your articular cartilage (the cartilage that covers the end of bones in a joint). This helps to make that cartilage stronger and more durable and improves joint function.

Nature offers a variety of methods to help alleviate chronic pain. By combining these approaches plus consulting with your healthcare professional, you can find a more holistic path to pain management.

 



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