Every once in a while, we suffer from discomfort and pain. Bumping into a table and getting bruised probably happens to everyone. Getting the occasional headache is also pretty much a fact of life. However, chronic pain is an entirely different story.
Over-the-counter medications are abundant, and they’re fast-acting and effective in relieving pain. But when you suffer from chronic pain, being dependent on medication can be a bad thing. It can even cause addiction and lead to many undesirable side effects.
If you’re looking for more natural ways to relieve pain or you want to supplement medication with natural pain relief, you’ve come to the right place! Here are our top 5 tips for natural pain relief:
Heat or Ice Therapy
This is a tried-and-tested pain relief method that’s used pretty much everywhere. If you suffer from a sprain or any other minor injury, ice therapy applied to the affected area will reduce inflammation and swelling. Once the swelling has disappeared, a few days of heat therapy will reduce the pain.
Knowing when to use heat or cold therapy is key to this method. For acute injuries and pain, ice therapy must be applied to reduce swelling. For chronic pain, heat therapy reduces stiffness and inflammation, and thereby reducing feelings of pain.
Fish Oil Supplements
Fish oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation plays a significant role in how much pain the body perceives. When inflammation is reduced, so are pain symptoms.
In one study, patients suffering from neck and back pain were made to take 1200mg of fish oil supplements daily, along with docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid. After 75 days, patients who took fish oil every day reported that they had stopped taking prescription painkillers for their chronic neck and back pain.
CBD or cannabidiol is all the rage today, and one of the most popular CBD products are CBD gummies. These are candies infused with CBD oil, making them easy to ingest and discreet to take.
Newsweek says that CBD products can help people achieve natural pain relief since the compound is known for reducing pain and anxiety. Cannabidiol comes from the hemp plant, and CBD products available on the market contain zero or at most 0.3% THC. This means ingesting CBD gummies will not make you high. It is entirely safe to take and legal in most states.
CBD gummies are a popular option if you want to reduce pain caused by arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and fibromyalgia. The key to using CBD gummies for pain relief is using the right dosage: a single gummy with 25mg is said to be sufficient to reduce pain. Anything lower than that requires you to ingest more to significantly enjoy pain-reducing benefits.
Exercise is considered to be one of the most powerful tools for chronic pain. This is because regular exercise can help increase the body’s level of certain hormones, such as endorphins. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that mimic the effect of morphine in reducing pain. They are also known to lift the mood and reduce anxiety.
Exercise can increase your levels of dopamine and tissue oxygen, which can then reduce pain, improve mood, and sleep. Aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are known to be the most effective, as well as yoga and tai chi, which incorporates meditation and breath control for better pain and anxiety relief.
Turmeric is a spice that contains the compound curcumin. This bioactive compound gives the herb its healing properties, which include anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers have said that ingesting turmeric matches or even outweighs the effects of ibuprofen and other over the counter painkillers without the unpleasant side effects.
Curcumin is also an antioxidant that helps protect the body from free radicals that can cause damaged cells and tissues. It’s pretty easy to incorporate into meals and drinks, too.
The Bottom Line
Pain is usually a sign that something isn’t right within our bodies. It could be the result of an acute injury, or it could be a sign of more serious health problems that need urgent medical attention.
Chronic pain affects 1 in every 5 people in the US. While painkillers are easily accessible, we can’t deny the fact that some of these medications do cause addiction and many other side effects. You can try these natural pain relief tips and tricks to help ease your pain. Or, you can still take medication and simply supplement your treatment with these natural remedies.