Finding natural pain relief techniques has never been as important as it is in our modern world. More than 100 Americans (more than a third of the adult population) suffer from chronic pain (American Academy of Pain Medicine).
The World Health Organization (WHO) determined that 1-in-5 people globally (20% of the entire human population) suffer from some form of chronic pain.
Opioid analgesics are the most common “treatment” to those who suffer from chronic pain but the risk of addiction is extremely high. As is the risk of developing a tolerance that gradually makes even the most powerful pain relievers ineffective. They’re also incredibly expensive!
Additionally, pharmaceutical prescriptions address the symptom (pain) rather than the cause (the source of the pain). This is never a long-term solution!
Sir Michael Bond, MD and president of International Association on the Study of Pain (IASP), stated, “Pain relief should be a human right. Now is the time to take pain seriously.”
Professor Harald Breivik, president of the European Federation of the IASP Chapters (EFIC), further explained, “Chronic pain is one of the most underestimated health care problems in the world today, causing major consequences for the quality of life of the sufferer and a major burden on the health care system. Chronic pain is a disease in its own right.”
Determining the source of chronic pain is critical to true healing and an end to the suffering.
However, to preserve quality of life and enable patients to function in the meantime, valid natural pain relief approaches must be attempted (and exhausted) to lessen the burden of addiction or ineffectiveness of pharmaceuticals as much as possible until the source of chronic pain can be discovered and (hopefully) resolved.
The Definition of Chronic Pain
The most commonly reported chronic pain complaints include headache, back pain, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and cancer pain.
Chronic pain is not only debilitating for the body physically, it takes a mental and emotional toll as well. People forced to manage pain that never seems to stop have a higher risk overall of depression and suicide than those without unending agony.
Many forms of chronic pain are treated at home with over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. These drugs relieve pain by inhibiting the inflammatory and pain response of injured tissue.
That’s where they get their name: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).
While these drugs are useful, they can become harmful when used habitually. Regular use of common NSAIDS can cause liver damage, stomach ulcers, and increased risk of stroke.
As I’ve said many times, in regard to many conditions, if you’re suffering from a disease or condition – from cancer to depression to an upset stomach – try everything and see what works for you. Every human is unique biologically. What works for one might not work for another but you won’t know unless you make the attempt.
If the natural pain relief procedure, supplement, or technique doesn’t cause additional harm, you have nothing to lose and so much to possibly gain by trying it!
Particularly in the case of chronic pain that hasn’t yet escalated to the level of making a patient physically disabled, natural pain relief options can offer a holistic and effective way to resolve pain without making other problems worse with side effects that include stomach damage, liver damage, addiction, or being “cut off” by your insurance company because they decide you no longer “need” pain relief medication.
5 Techniques to Relieve Pain Naturally!
- Antioxidant Rich Diet: Antioxidants can be taken in supplement form but naturally occur in foods that your body can process more readily. Antioxidants remove free radicals from the body. Free radicals are compounds produced in your body, a byproduct of your system that results in mutated cells.
Scientists now recognize that an excess of free radicals can lead to an avalanche of health problems. One of the most dangerous – and rapidly being named a “root cause” for everything from heart disease to cancer to Alzheimer’s – is inflammation. Your cartilage, muscles, nerves, and joints are highly susceptible to this inflammation and this is the place where many cases of chronic pain begin.
Free radical levels are stimulated by saturated and trans fats as well as chemically altered foods – processed and refined pre-packaged foods. Avoiding “pretend” foods and adding a variety of dark leafy greens, citrus fruits, coconut oil, berries, peppers, and broccoli will greatly reduce inflammation within joint tissue.
- Regular Exercise: For those who are not interested in the yogi life, other types of exercise can provide the same pain alleviating benefits. Light aerobic exercise such as walking, biking, or swimming brings oxygen and nutrition to the muscles, which reduce stiffness.
Outdoor exercise adds the benefit of sun exposure. Sunlight provides the body with vitamin D, which aids in the absorption of calcium. A proper daily intake of vitamin D has been proven to reduce pain while vitamin D deficiency worsens chronic pain.
Simply stretching twice a day will improve flexibility, range of motion, and reduce stiffness. Daily activities such as mopping floors, mowing your lawn, and gardening also count as physical activity and provide similar natural pain relief benefits.
- Fish Oil: Fish oil may be a suitable alternative anti-inflammatory agent with fewer side effects than NSAIDS. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil reduce inflammation and swelling similar to popularly used NSAIDS. Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the production of prostaglandins – an inflammatory agent in the body that leads to pain.
Fish oil has also proven effective for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Fish oil can be consumed naturally or in pill form. A daily supplement provides an easy way to consume the recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Yoga and Meditation: Chronic pain inhibits many from an active lifestyle. However, inactivity weakens muscles, which may increase stiffness and pain. Low-impact exercise is usually a better choice for those trying to relieve pain naturally.
Yoga is a great low-impact endeavor that promotes the mental, physical, and spiritual aspects of health with smooth movements that are gentle on the body. It also improves immune function, reduces migraines, improves sleep, decreases blood pressure, and improves fat metabolism.
Meditation has proven to be an effective method of natural pain relief. It is used to reduce stress and chronic pain in many physical rehabilitation programs.
- Turmeric: Turmeric can be used as a natural pain reliever as well as a spice for food. Turmeric is a natural anti-inflammatory that increases circulation. It is used for skin and digestive issues as well. It can be bought as a spice or in pill and capsule form.
In several studies, curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) performed similarly to ibuprofen. It reduced pain, improved function, and lowered the enzymes that cause inflammation.
Turmeric may slow blood-clotting ability in some people so it is not recommended for individuals on prescribed blood thinners but is otherwise a safe and effective anti-inflammatory.
Try Whatever It Takes to Relieve Chronic Pain!
Not all pain can be treated through holistic practices.
However, healthy lifestyle choices and natural pain relief techniques will complement traditional pain-management therapies as well. I cannot stress the importance of diet in particular!
Treating your body well, giving it the fuel it needs to fight inflammation and disease, and simply keeping it moving will help you live longer and enjoy each of your years to the fullest.
For more incredible information about chronic pain and scientifically proven natural pain relief techniques, read my book The Ultimate Guide to Natural Pain Relief and take back control of your life! You don’t have to keep suffering…there are solutions.