Holistic Pain Remedies Proven Effective
By Guest Author, Donna Maurer
Many people deal with chronic pain every single day. If you’re one of them, you may think that the only way to find relief is to take addictive medications that come with some scary side effects. Unfortunately, these medications can often make you feel worse than living with the pain. Thankfully, there are better solutions.
If you would like to wean yourself off of harmful pain medications, there are natural options that can help. In fact, there is a lot of evidence to show that natural pain therapies can actually be just as effective, and sometimes even more so, than mainstream pain treatments.
You don’t have to take over the counter or prescription drugs to manage your pain. Instead, try turning to natural therapies like chiropractic care, acupuncture, and massage. You can also make changes in your lifestyle, and incorporate natural remedies like herbs, essential oils, and CBD oil into your everyday life. Imagine how much better you’ll feel without the side effects of painkillers!
Sure, you may still have good days and bad days, but once you know what to do to get relief, you’ll feel more in control of the pain.
Here are the top 13 strategies for managing chronic pain without prescription drugs.
When you’re in pain, the last thing you want to do is be active. The thing is, avoiding activity to try to keep the pain at bay really doesn’t work. In fact, it can actually make your pain worse. When you first start exercising, start with short walks to the end of your driveway and back.
Eventually, you can progress to sitting in a chair and lifting some light weights. Then you might try attending yoga classes a few times a week.
Be sure to stretch at home every day, too, because it’s great for getting the blood pumping and loosening up those sore muscles and tendons.
Once you can manage it, begin to incorporate longer daily walks. Over time, you’ll find that you look forward to the exercise instead of dreading it.
Exercise is a great way to get your body to produce pain-relieving endorphins, which work a lot like the opioid meds you’re trying so hard to live without. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain killer, and they even produce feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.
Some people think that acupuncture is really bizarre, and they can’t understand why anyone would want to have a bunch of needles stuck in their bodies. But if you look into the research on natural pain relief, you will discover that acupuncture is actually very effective against many types of chronic pain, including back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
According to experts at the Yinova Center Acupuncture, acupuncture stimulates the release of endorphins, much like exercise does. They say that acupuncture also helps damaged nerves to regenerate by stimulating nerve growth factors, which could mean long-term relief.
Heartland Health Centers reports that patients who received acupuncture as part of an integrative treatment plan had a pain reduction of two points or more on a scale of 1-10. That’s better than the results most patients report with opioid medications.
And it doesn’t end there! According to Acubalance, acupuncture also reduces inflammation in the body by influencing cytokine production, which regulates the body’s inflammatory response. Inflammation and pain go hand in hand, so finding ways to decrease inflammation naturally is essential for anyone who wants to control pain without drugs.
Acupuncture treatments are incredibly relaxing, and they really do reduce chronic pain for most patients. In fact, acupuncture is good for so much more than just pain relief. Once you start getting acupuncture regularly, you will find that your overall health improves, too.
Thanks to recent developments, CBD oil is now legal in most places, so it’s pretty easy to get ahold of. CBD oil is a go-to, natural remedy for fast pain relief, instead of pills. It starts to work in as little as 20 minutes, and it has no troublesome side effects. One of the best things about using CBD oil for pain is that it’s also helpful for anxiety, depression, and stress, which often go hand in hand with chronic pain.
Many essential oils can have a pain-relieving effect on the body. Certain essential oils, like ginger and lavender, boost circulation, which increases blood and oxygen flow to inflamed muscles and joints. Try using lavender essential oil in a diffuser in your bedroom at night, and you will sleep much more soundly.
Essential oils are also great for incorporating into a therapeutic massage to relieve pain. This method gets them into the bloodstream quickly, so you’ll get relief right away. Many massage therapists use peppermint and rosemary essential oils for pain relief.
Chiropractic care is another alternative therapy many people are very skeptical about, but there are quite a few studies that show its effectiveness, so it’s definitely worth giving it a try. It works especially well for lower back and neck pain.
Heat therapy is a great way to relieve muscle pain, especially in the lower back. Heat relieves pain by increasing the flow of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to the area. On those nights when you’re really hurting, you may find that soaking in a warm bath does wonders for calming muscle spasms and relieving joint pain. Adding lavender essential oil and Epsom salts to the bath helps even more.
If you don’t want to soak in the tub, a hot water bottle or heating pad does the trick if the pain is in a localized area. If you wake up with back pain in the morning, you could even wear a heat wrap to work to give you relief throughout the day.
On the other hand, ice is terrific for reducing swelling and inflammation. Sometimes it’s the simplest things that help the most, and anyone can use ice packs to relieve pain and inflammation in muscles or joints. It works a bit like a mild anesthetic and even slows the nerve impulses that send pain signals to the brain. Try using ice packs anytime you’re dealing with muscle spasms or swelling.
You could also try adding certain herbs to your daily regimen to relieve inflammation. They work really well in combination with acupuncture and chiropractic treatments. The herbs that work best for pain and inflammation are turmeric, Boswellia, cinnamon, ginger, and devil’s claw.
If you’re taking any medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before you start an herbal regimen. Some herbs can interact with or reduce the effectiveness of prescription medications.
Drink Lots of Water
We are constantly being told that we should drink lots of water, but many people really don’t pay attention to it.
It turns out that staying well hydrated can actually help the disks in your vertebrae to remain healthy, reduce stiffness in the joints, and even flush toxins out of your muscles that could be contributing to your pain.
Everyone should try to drink one or two liters of water a day.
There are certain foods that can cause inflammation, which contributes to pain.
In order to minimize pain, reduce inflammation, and improve your circulation naturally, make some key changes in your diet. Don’t eat any refined sugar, fried foods, dairy, or refined grains.
The majority of your diet should revolve around fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats like olive oil and avocados.
Omega-3s are also useful for reducing inflammation throughout the body. You can up your intake of omega-3s by eating fatty fish like sardines, mackerel, or salmon a couple of times a week. If you don’t care for fish, you can just take a fish oil supplement every day.
You may also find that managing your stress levels also helps you manage your pain. Here are some stress-reduction techniques to try:
- Yoga: As we mentioned above, you should try to take a yoga class a few times a week for exercise. You will also find that it’s beneficial for relieving stress. Yoga has been shown to be very effective for relieving joint pain caused by arthritis and fibromyalgia. It also strengthens your core, which can be very helpful if you suffer from back pain.
- Meditation: Meditation is excellent for helping you relax at night before bed. It’s highly recommended for those who have trouble falling asleep at night.
- Hypnosis: Hypnosis has been shown to be very helpful for relieving back pain, repetitive strain injuries, and cancer pain. Many hypnotherapists give the patient suggestions for relaxation and comfort while under hypnosis. The patient is also taught a cue that can be used for fast pain relief at any time.
It can be challenging to get plenty of quality sleep when you’re in pain. But your body heals when you’re asleep, so extra rest is vital for dealing with chronic pain. Once you start exercising regularly, you will find that you are able to sleep much better. Yoga will also help you to relax and fall asleep faster at night.
Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work at all for another. You may have to do some experimenting with these treatments to find what works for you. You should also consider following the latest research on pain management because new techniques are being discovered all the time. Something that you might have scoffed at in the past could turn out to be very useful for relieving your pain and maybe even healing the problem over time.