In this article: Don’t let pain stand in the way of having a full and productive life!
Pain is a part of life and human condition. Everyone suffers some pain in their life, be it, a headache, muscle pain from tension or working out too hard, or a simple sore throat. However, for many, and specifically those who suffer from conditions marked by chronic pain, it is a constant part of life.
In fact, chronic pain affects about 116 million American adults, this equates to more than 1/3 of the US population. Many medical experts consider pain to be at epidemic levels and one of the biggest health crises facing the nation.
While there is a vast variety of both prescription and over the counter pain medications available, and they do reduce suffering, many are addictive and have harmful side effects.
In addition, they do not eliminate the cause of the pain, which is something that needs to be addressed as part of a long-term solution.
Natural Methods of Pain Relief
Thankfully, there are many ways to heal pain naturally and to find relief for conditions, such as, muscle strains, arthritis, fibromyalgia, back, and neck pain.
Here are all natural alternative medicine remedies that may enhance or for some might even replace conventional medical treatments, such as, pharmaceuticals and result in a happier pain free life.
Vitamins and Supplements
There are many supplements that can help ease pain, make sure to always check with your doctor as some supplements can be contraindicated with various prescription and over the counter medications.
Inflammation contributes too many painful conditions, including osteoarthritis, arthritis, and back pain. Anti-inflammatory medications, like aspirin, and ibuprofen (a group of medications known as NSAIDs) help pain by blocking the enzymes that trigger the swelling and pain. However, while those medications can cause upset stomach, there are natural alternatives that have anti-inflammatory properties that do not do so.
In addition, since these natural products work like NSAIDs they can be a great alternative for pain management.
Dr. Minerva Santos, the director of integrative medicine at Northern Westchester Hospital in New York recommends Turmeric for joint pain as an all-natural healer.
Dr. Santos remarks as to how its active ingredient, curcumin, has anti-inflammatory properties, and she often recommends it to patients who have soreness in the joints.
She also comments that she uses it herself, as well as, in her practice.
Turmeric can be purchased as a supplement, and when in that form it is often combined with something called piperine, which aids in the absorption process. Dr. Santos recommends a dose of 1,000 milligrams a day.
Dr. Tanya Edwards, medical director of the Center for Integrative Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic concurs with Dr. Santos and reports that patients of hers were able to stop using ibuprofen completely by replacing it with turmeric supplements.
A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in 2009 compared curcumin to ibuprofen in their ability to relieve pain in 107 patients who had osteoarthritis in the knees. The curcumin easily stood up to the ibuprofen.
Caution: Turmeric can slow blood clotting, and does not mix well with blood thinner medications, and is not for use before surgery. It can also make gallbladder conditions worse and should be avoided by those with gallstones. Ask your doctor.
2| InflaThera or Zyflamend
InflaThera and Zyflamend are two examples of supplements that contain turmeric, ginger and holy basil, all natural herbal plants that have anti-inflammatory properties. Most notably is Turmeric that contains curcumin that has been proven to curtail inflammation that is commonly seen in psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
According to Dr. James Dillard who wrote the book Chronic Pain Solution, there plenty of scientific evidence for these herbs abilities to help with pain in inflammatory conditions.
How To Use It
It is easier to get Zyflamend than InflaThera because the latter is only sold to health care professionals and so has to be ordered by a doctor. However, it may be worth the effort because it is stronger and less expensive than Zyflamend.
Zyflamend can be purchased anywhere health supplements are sold, in stores and online.
Consider taking 500 mg of Zyflamend PM daily along with fish oil supplements and eat fewer fats from animal proteins for arthritis pain.
3| SAM-e (S adenosylmethionine)
Uses: Osteoarthritis Pain
SAM-e™ is a supplement that is made from all natural amino acids. It is unclear how it works, but scientists at the University Of Maryland School Of Nursing and the University of California, Irvine say that it has the same effect as NSAIDs, like, ibuprofen in reducing inflammation. However, it goes further and can actually induce wellbeing by stimulating serotonin and dopamine release in the brain.
The UC Irvine study found that SAM-e reduced pain by 50% after 2 months, but it did take several weeks to take effect.
Also notable is the fact that SAM-e caused less stomach upset than conventional medications.
How To Use It
SAM-e comes in supplement tablets and can be obtained at drug stores or health stores. The product needs to be labeled with a USP or GMP quality seal, must contain some type of stabilizing salt, should be wrapped in foil packs because it can degrade in direct light and finally should have a far off date of expiration.
Caution: SAM-e can interact with MAO-inhibitors and other medications so it’s important to talk with your doctor before starting this treatment.
Uses: Acute Injury Pain and Post-Surgical Swelling
Arnica is an herb, and while science has not yet pinpointed the sources of its healing power, it does have all natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Researchers from Great Britain found that taking Arnica orally helped patients with throat pain following a tonsillectomy. There is also scientific evidence as to its effectiveness in reducing swelling those results from surgery of the knees.
How To Use It
Arnica can be purchased in the form of pellets that are held under the tongue multiple times per day and can be used together with conventional medicine, other herbs, and heat and ice therapy. It is also available in gel form to use topically on muscles or any painful areas.
5| Aloe Vera
Uses: Knee, Back, Neck, Joint, and Shoulder Pain & Inflammation Prevention
Aloe Vera is truly the miracle plant that has a lot of healing power, for pain, it contains anti-inflammatory properties that scientific studies from around the world have identified as major advocates for all natural pain management.
Aloe Vera transmits a messenger of pain called, Bradykinin, which is a part of the body’s process that causes inflammation. Studies have shown that aloe Vera blocks bradykinin activity because it contains an enzyme called bradykinase that breaks down bradykinin and helps with neck, knee, back, shoulder, and joint pain.
Powerful Plant Sterols
Aloe Vera contains powerful plant sterols, called, beta sitosterol, campesterol, and lupeol that not only prevent inflammation, but also promote healing, unlike, steroids, which actually inhibit healing.
Aloe Vera contains salicylic acid, which, is basically nature’s aspirin because aspirin is chemically made from salicylic acid. Salicylic acid relieves pain and also reduces inflammation by inhibiting the production of prostaglandin hormones, which are responsible for inflammation. In addition, Aloe Vera, unlike aspirin, will not cause stomach irritation and can be used to relieve back, knee, and joint pain.
COX-2 Inhibiting Effect
Aloe Vera also inhibits cyclooxygenase (COX-2), which, is an inflammation-causing enzyme.
Promotes Digestion And Bowel Function
An often overlooked cause of pain is poor digestion, which creates “foreign” invaders that the human body interprets as a threat and then seeks to protect itself through inflammation. This response can lead to pain conditions, such as, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Rheumatoid arthritis, and Colitis.
A study by Dr. Jeffrey Bland conducted a study into the effects of Aloe Vera juice on the digestive system. The final results indicated that it did lower bowel bacterial conversion and did improve digestion in test subjects who were given Aloe Vera juice on a regular basis.
The juice also balanced acid levels, improved colonic activity and lowered bowel putrefaction. Improving digestive health reduces chronic inflammation, which can help back, knee, and joint pain.
How To Use It
Aloe Vera can be used in three ways:
- Juice form – There are many brands of Aloe Vera juice to choose from. It is important to buy only “pure” aloe juice, and not those that are labeled “aloe flavored. Avoid juices that have preservatives, other artificial ingredients, and added sugar. Overall, the primary ingredient, usually the one listed first on the list of ingredients, should be Aloe Vera.
- Supplement form – There are Aloe Vera supplements in capsule form.
- Topical application – Fresh aloe can be used right from the pulp of the plant to rub on wounds, and into muscles as a topical treatment.
Aquamin is red seaweed that is enriched with calcium and magnesium. Magnesium has profound anti-inflammatory properties. Some clinical studies have shown that Aquamin can reduce joint inflammation that is the hallmark of Osteoarthritis.
A study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that 20% of study participants with arthritis had a 20% reduction in pain after one month of use, and also reported much less stiffness than those in the study who received a placebo.
How To Use It
Recommended dose is 2,400 mg daily, typically this equates to two Aquamin tablets. This supplement is available from various manufacturers.
7| Glucosamine and Chondroitin
Uses: Protect Joints and Improves Joint Function
The Mayo Clinic says that Glucosamine is a natural compound that is vital to the formation and repair of cartilage.
Chondroitin is created from cow and shark cartilage, and both are integral in building and also protecting joint-cushioning cartilage, the exact same cartilage that breaks down in osteoarthritis.
Together they form a powerful remedy for healing and also preventing further destruction and can really help those with moderate to severe knee osteoarthritis. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study that said 53% of Glucosamine and Chondroitin users decreased their pain by 50%.
How To Use It
Typical dose is 500 mg of glucosamine 3 times daily on its own or 400 mg of chondroitin sulfate. Ask your doctor for your specific needs.
8| Methylsulfonyl-Methane (MSM)
Uses: Osteoarthritis and Joint Health
MSM is a supplement that is made from sulfur and promotes joint health, and cartilage degeneration. A study conducted at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences showed that osteoarthritis patients who took MSM had 25% less pain and 30% improvement in physical function at the end of a 3-month trial.
The 2006 Kim study that gave subjects a dose of 3 grams per day, then increasing to 6 grams daily over a three-day period resulted in a 25% pain reduction. The most dramatic change was reported between week 2 and week 4, but overall pain did continue to decrease through the end of the study at week 12.
How To Use It
The typical recommended dosage is 1,500 to 6,000 mg daily, and this is based on two double-blind studies that tested its use on people with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Leslie Axelrod, ND, a professor of clinical sciences at Southwest suggests a daily dose of 1.5 to 3 g daily to start with and then increased to 3 g twice daily for more intense pain.
MSM can also be used in topical form and in injection form, which, can only be administered by a physician. Many experts recommend a combination of oral and topical application to get the best pain relieving results possible.
9| Fish Oil
Uses: Joint Pain and Arthritis
Fish oil is a great all-natural remedy for pain. Its active ingredient is prostaglandin, which is a hormone like chemical.
According to Dr. David Rakel, founder and director of the University of Wisconsin’s Integrative Medicine Program says that strong evidence exists that fish oil helps all types of medical conditions, including, heart health, depression, asthma and of course, pain.
A study conducted in Scotland showed that 40% of RA patients who took cod liver oil daily cut their usage of NSAID medicines by 1/3.
Another study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh showed that 2/3 of participants who took fish oil for 10 weeks were able to stop taking NSAID medications altogether.
How To Use It
The dosage in fish oil supplements refers to the actual amount of fish oil in each tablet.
While typically fish oil dose is 1,000 mg daily for heart health, experts say a higher dose is needed for pain.
Osteoarthritis sufferers: 2,000 to 4,000 mg daily.
For Rheumatoid Arthritis and autoimmune diseases that include pain, such as, Lupus, much higher doses are needed. As your doctor.
Caution: Also, you should ask your doctor about taking fish oil if you take blood pressure or any type of heart medications as fish oil can thin blood.
Uses: Diabetic Neuropathy
Several studies have found that the nutrient acetyl-L-carnitine can help nerve pain associated with diabetes. When used in supplement form it can help to regenerate damaged nerves and, in time restore sensitivity.
How To Use It
Check with your doctor for the proper dose and use.
11| Alpha-Lipoic Acid
Uses: Diabetic Neuropathy and Nerve Damage
Alpha-lipoic acid is an antioxidant that is naturally found in foods like, spinach, brocolli, yeast, liver, kidneys and potatoes. Supplements are used as medicine to treat diabetes and the nerve-related burning pain that comes from diabetes, as well as, numbness in the legs and arms.
Early studies are showing that it is promising in reducing pain, and slowing the progression of nerve injury from diabetes.
Alpha-lipoic acid also helps with insulin sensitivity, which is an added benefit for patients with diabetes.
There is also evidence that it can help nerve damaged suffered by those with cancer.
How To Use It
Check with your doctor for the proper dose and use.
Uses: Osteoarthritis and Knee Pain
Bromelain is an enzyme that is derived from the pineapple plant and studies have shown that it is helpful in reducing osteoarthritis and knee pain.
There’s some uncertainty about how well it gets absorbed in digestion, given that it could be neutralized by stomach acid. More research needs to be done.
How To Use It
Bromelain comes in supplement form. For osteoarthritis, a good option is a combination product, Phlogenzym that contains 100 mg of rutin, 48 mg of trypsin and 90 mg of bromelain, typically 2 tablets 3 times daily.
Caution: Bromelain can be contraindicated with certain medications, check with your doctor.
1| Capsaicin Cream™
Uses: Arthritis, Shingles, and Neuropathy
Capsaicin is an ingredient in chili peppers that has amazing healing powers, on top of other health benefits, like promoting weight loss.
Capsaicin works by desensitizing nerve receptors in the skin that are prone to pain reactions, known as, C-fibers; soreness is diminished for 3 to 5 weeks while they regain sensation.
When used topically, Capsaicin cream reduced pain by 50% for three to five weeks for 40% of patients in a study conducted by the University of Oxford. The same study showed that 60% of patients who suffer from neuropathic pain also had a 50% reduction.
Another study conducted at the New England Center for Headaches, into the effectiveness of Capsaicin cream when used in the nostrils decreased cluster and migraine headache pain significantly.
How To Use It
Capsaicin cream can be purchased over the counter at drug stores everywhere. It comes in many different brands, including generic versions. A concentration of 0.025% or 0.075% capsaicin cream one to four times daily for arthritis or neuropathy is best.
Dr. Gregory, a professor and editor of the Natural Medicine’s Comprehensive Database says to be patient, as the result may not be seen for at least two weeks.
While the one headache study held promising results, the research is limited. The current strength of Capsaicin cream available over the counter is best suited for topical use in acute pain, such as, that seen in arthritis, and basic muscle stiffness.
Caution: Pain might worsen for a few days before the capsaicin takes effect. There is also risk of skin irritation due to the “heat” of the capsaicin so wash hands thoroughly after application and do not touch your eyes while using it.
2| Sombra Warm Therapy Natural Pain Relieving Gel™
This orange scented non-greasy and alcohol free analgesic gel has received a raving 4.5 stars out of a possible 5 from more than 1800 customers on Amazon.
It contains, Camphor, menthol, Aloe Vera and capraicin, and has both an icing and heating effect. Users are raving about i’s ability to relieve chronic aches and pains.
3| Icy Hot™
This is another topical cream that first has an icy effect, and then turns to deep heat that helps to soothe sore muscles and pain.
4| Tiger Balm™
Tiger Balm is an all-natural muscle rub and healing ointment that can be used to alleviate muscle pain and also works great as a pre-workout rub to prevent post exercise aches.
5| Other Patches and Creams
There are other products on the market in the form of creams and patches that provide topical relief for pain.
For example, Salonpas Pain Relieving Patch™ has received an overall 4.5 star rating out of a possible 5 with customers raving about the pain relief they receive from these analgesic patches.
Results do vary and it’s best to try to find the product that works best for you.
Medical Marijuana For Pain
According to Harvard Health, “The most common use for medical marijuana in the United States is for pain control.”
According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, medical marijuana has been used as a medical treatment for more than 3,000 years. Throughout its history, medical marijuana has been used for conditions such as pain relief, digestive issues, and psychological disorders. Pain can be a symptom of many medical conditions and a diagnosis by itself. Living with chronic pain is also linked to mental health issues like anxiety and depression.
Because pain is a widespread problem, scientists continue to look for effective treatments while patients are looking for safe forms of relief. Research shows that medical marijuana may be an effective, safe treatment for pain, but more studies are needed. Many patients are already convinced that medical marijuana helps them, and the use of medical marijuana is growing in the United States.
Results from a recent study revealed that more than 62% of individuals who use medical cannabis do so to treat chronic pain. It is estimated that 2.1 million Americans use medical cannabis. Researchers have found that 80% of people enrolled in clinical trials and studies reported pain as the main reason they use medical marijuana. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 2.5% of the global population uses marijuana yearly, making it the most frequently used drug worldwide.
In a recent comprehensive review looked at the health effects of medical marijuana and CBD. CBD is related to medical marijuana, but CBD does not contain THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that produces the feeling of being high. Instead, CBD has been found to have may other health-related benefits related to its chemical structure and makeup.
The National Academies of Sciences determined that adult patients with chronic pain who were treated with medical marijuana and CBD were more likely to demonstrate a reduction in pain symptoms.
Researchers rated these effects as modest, but many patients report significant pain relief. Other studies show that medical marijuana provides relief for cancer-related pain, migraines, fibromyalgia, and other pain conditions. Additional studies show that medical marijuana may offer pain relief for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and various other types of acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain.
Over the Counter and Prescription Pain Medications and Opioid Use Versus Medical Marijuana Use
Researchers have a hard time determining exactly how many people suffer from pain. Because pain is both a symptom and a medical diagnosis, different reporting methods do not accurately reflect its prevalence. Pain is also subjective, meaning people experience it differently. When compiling data, researchers have found that many studies are limited in the types of pain they monitor and may miss other kinds of pain that patients experience because patients do not all experience or report pain in the same way.
Despite these difficulties, WHO used data from its World Mental Health Survey to estimate that 37% of the population experiences pain. In the United States, millions of people experience pain from acute and chronic conditions, and many live with pain daily.
For those who suffer from pain, over the counter medications don’t always provide relief. This type of medication might help mild or acute pain like a headache or sprained ankle, but over the counter medications are usually not effective for controlling long term, chronic pain. Patients often use prescription pain medications for chronic pain.
Non-opioid prescription pain medications may have serious side effects, and their relief may decrease over time. When other medications aren’t effective, patients may use prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and fentanyl.
Opioid use carries a high risk of abuse and overdose. According to the Addiction Center, the sale of opioid painkillers has increased by 300% since 1999. It is estimated that 20-30% of people who take opioids abuse them, and 10% become addicted. Overdoses involving opioids, including prescription medications, have increased almost six times since 1999. Opioids account for nearly 70% of all overdose deaths.
Studies show that medical marijuana has fewer and milder side effects than most other pain medications. The risk for addiction, overdose, and death is also significantly lower than for opioid medications. Research indicates that medical marijuana may even effectively and safely replace opioid use for pain relief.
Pain is a problem for millions of Americans. Finding effective pain control medications without serious side effects or a high risk of abuse and overdose is a growing issue. Many patients use medical marijuana for pain relief because of these benefits.
Herbs and Plants
Herbs have been used for thousands of years in Eastern medicine to alleviate all types of symptoms and to treat various conditions. Here are a few that help pain, and support joint health.
Caution: Herbs can interact with other medications and are not all are safe for use during pregnancy, so always consult your physician or herbalist before starting any herbal treatments.
1| Green Tea
There is a lot of evidence as to the benefits of green tea for health and wellness, including, easing arthritic pain.
Many holistic practitioners and herbalists recommend green tea when treating patients for various conditions, including those that have pain.
In fact, the Chinese have used green tea for medicinal purposes for more than 4,000 years to treat all type of ailments, including, depression, and headaches.
Green tea leaves can help with weight loss, strengthen immunity, make the bones stronger and lower risk for cancer.
Green tea contains powerful polyphenol antioxidants called EGCG and this is what is responsible for alleviating arthritis pain, and also lowering LDL cholesterol.
Early research has shown that these same phytochemicals in green tea can help relieve arthritis-related inflammation and cartilage breakdown.
How To Use It
The studies that had positive results of green tea in helping pain used four and six cups daily. However, there is absolutely no harm in green tea, so it is safe to drink in abundance and reap all the health benefits it brings.
One thing to consider is the fact that it does have caffeine, but the anti-inflammatory phytochemicals are also in decaffeinated products, so that may be a better option when drank in large quantities to eliminate the stimulant effect from regular green tea.
2| Stinging Nettle
Stinging nettle is a plant that is native to Europe and North America and is widely used in Europe and Australia to treat arthritis symptoms.
Preliminary studies hold promise that particular compounds in the nettle plant are useful to reduce inflammation and strengthen the body’s immune system.
A study done in Germany investigated hox alpha, an extract from the nettle plant that identified a substance that reduced inflammation in joint diseases. Another study conducted in Turkey also showed this plant’s ability to reduce pain, act as an anti-microbial, and also held anti-ulcer activities. However, the science is limited and more research is needed.
How To Use It
The leaves and stems of the Nettle Plant are processed into capsules, extracts, tea, and tinctures. They can also be purchased in leaf form from herb shops.
Crampbark is a North American plant that relieves menstrual cramps and other muscle spasms naturally.
How To Use It
Use ½ to 1 teaspoon of crampbark tincture every 2 hours on days when cramps are at their worst.
4| White Willow Bark
Its active ingredient is called salicin, a derivative of salicylic acid, which works a lot like aspirin to soothe aching joints and muscles, but it does not cause the same stomach upset that aspirin can.
White Willow bark is another herbal medicine that has been used for hundreds of years to relieve pain and reduce fever.
How To Use It
White Willow Bark comes in supplement tablet form. The supplements can be purchased from health stores and supplement suppliers in regular tablets and extract form, in strengthens of 15% salicin and 25% salicin.
It also comes in dried leaf form to make tea.
5| Boswellia Serrata
Boswellia is an herb that grows on trees in India and has been used as a pain reliever there for centuries.
The compound in Boswellia that relives pain is called boswellic acid and it has anti-inflammatory properties and works in the same way that NSAID pain relievers do.
However, NSAIDs, like ibuprofen can cause stomach upset, while Boswellia does not. Boswellia supplements are touted for overall joint health as well.
Data suggests that the boswellic acid known as 3-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid or AKBA is the most powerful. It helps to preserve the structural integrity of joint cartilage, promotes digestive health and immunity.
How To Use It
Boswellia can be purchased at health food stores in the form of a supplement or even as a topical cream. When looking for supplements check the concentration levels for AKBA, as not all offer the proper strength of this active ingredient.
6| Ginger Extract
Some research has shown that ginger can modestly reduce pain seen in osteoarthritis.
According to WebMD, one study showed that a specific ginger extract called Zintona EC taken at doses of 250 mg four times per day decreased arthritis knee pain after three months of treatment.
Another study showed that a different ginger extract, called Eurovita Extract 77 that is a mixture of ginger and alpinia reduced stiffness and pain from standing for long periods and walking.
Studies have also been conducted to compare Ginger to the NSAID medicine ibuprofen. While one study did not show the ginger to be as effective as ibuprofen, another did. In the latter, the intake of 500 mg of ginger extract two times per day worked as well as 400 mg of ibuprofen to treat knee and hip pain that resulted from arthritis.
Another study combined ginger extracts with glucosamine, and found that it worked as well as the anti-inflammatory NSAID medication, diclofenac, in combination with 1 gram of glucosamine sulfate.
Other studies have found that using massage oil that contains ginger and orange helps to relive stiffness and knee pain.
There has also been research that showed ginger extract to be effective for menstrual pain. One in particular showed that a specific ginger extract, Zintoma, Goldaru taken at 250 mg doses 4 times per day for 3 days at the start of the menstrual cycle reduced pain in 63% of participants, with relief comparable to that seen with over the counter medications, such as, mefenamic acid or ibuprofen.
Other Natural Remedies
1| Heat Therapy
Heat therapy is a wonderful and all natural method to treat many types of pain, be it chronic or acute, such as, that from an injury.
Methods For Heat Therapy:
- Heating Pad (electric or gel filled)
- Hot water bottle
- Hot bath or whirlpool
Heating pads increase the flow of healing nutrients to painful muscles. First, the heat increases the flow of oxygen to the sore area, and second, heat can suppress pain signals from being sent to the brain.
Arthritis sufferers often find relief with heat along with some type of eucalyptus ointment. This natural therapy works well for Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis.
How To Use It
There are many heating pad products available on the market; the #1 bestseller on Amazon is the Sunbeam™ 2013-912 XpressHeat Heating Pad. There are also heat wraps, such as, the one from Thermacare™ that releases low levels of heat for several hours and can be worn under clothes while working or running errands.
Various more sophisticated heat therapies can also be applied by chiropractors in the form of microwaves, ultrasound, and shortwaves.
2| Ice Therapy
While heat provides soothing pain relief, ice helps with inflammation that when left unchecked can increase pain.
Ice also mimics local anesthesia by slowing nerve impulses that interrupts the pain signals in the affected area. It can be used to ease muscle and joint inflammation and pain. Ice is an effective, cheap, and easy to use home remedy.
How To Use It
A homemade ice pack can be made using a freezer bag and some ice, or you can buy ready-made ice packs that sit in the freezer ready to use.
Stretching is something everyone should do on a regular basis, and those with chronic back pain will benefit most from stretching the soft the muscles, ligaments and tendons in and around the spine.
It is a fact that when motion is limited the back becomes stiff, which can result in more pain. Those who suffer from chronic back pain need to stretch regularly and perform appropriate stretching movements to benefit from sustained and long-term relief from the increased motion.
How To Use It
There are many authority sites on the web that offer videos demonstrations of stretching for back pain, these are easy to view and follow. Another option is to see a physical therapist that can offer support in both stretching and exercising to relieve pain.
Massage therapy is wonderful for any type of pain, be it chronic, acute or simply from fatigue, work and tension. There are various massage therapies available to meet all types of needs, including Shiatsu, Swedish, hot oil and deep tissue.
A skilled and trained massage therapist will know exactly what to do once the pain problem is explained.
Massage also does wonders for fatigue and stress, both of which are known exasperate pain and both of which go hand in hand with arthritis and other chronic pain conditions.
It can also help to calm anxiety, which often afflicts those who suffer from chronic pain.
How To Use It
If you can afford it, get a massage regularly, weekly or even twice per week. Physical therapists and chiropractors also offer therapeutic massage so it may be covered under medical insurance.
There are also some great electronic massagers on the market that are great options. These include mobile units, spot massage products that target the neck or specific areas. There are also strap onto chair units that offer shiatsu for the entire back, many come with a heat option.
A bestseller on Amazon is the Zyllion ZMA-13-BK Shiatsu Massage Pillow with Heat (ASIN B00BOYA2M2).
Then there are also wonderful massage chairs, these are the cream of the crop that provide full body, neck to toe massage functions, including, rolling, tapping, shiatsu and Swedish. They come with wide array of features and can really be a lifesaver.
Top Rated Massage Chair Models On Amazon
- Inada Sogno Dreamwave Massage Chair (ASIN B004BXJZB2)
- Authentic Beautyhealth Shiatsu Arm Hand Massage Chair (ASIN B004BXJZB2)
- Electric Full Body Shiatsu Massage Chair Recliner w/Heat (ASIN B004BXJZB2)
5| Natural Vitamin D from Sun Rays
Exposure to the sun assists the body in producing Vitamin D and only 10-15 minutes of sun exposure daily can help pain management.
Vitamin D works to relieve pain because it helps the body absorb calcium, which is integral for bone growth and repair.
A daily dose of 400 to 800 IU of vitamin D, about ten to fifteen minutes per day helped 221 participants in a Boston University study reduce knee pain associated with osteoarthritis.
How To Use It
About ten to fifteen minutes per day with sun ray exposure to the face and hands is all it takes.
6| Bath Crystals/Aromatherapy
Using mineral based healing bath crystals or powdered kelp seaweed in a warm or hot bath is a wonderful natural way to ease joint, and muscle pain; works great for acute pain, post workout aches and chronic pain too.
Sleep is the best medicine for everything. During sleep, the body recovers and restores. Getting sufficient sleep is very important in the process of managing pain and facilitating healing.
How To Use It
Experts recommend eight hours per night, though many do not get nearly that. Deep sleep and a good night’s rest can be induced in various ways, with natural herbs, such as, herbal teas, warm milk, and regular exercise during the day.
There are also various natural sleep aids on the market, and meditation techniques to get to sleep and stay in a nice deep sleep. Power naps can also do wonders during the day, 10 minutes is all it takes to revive, rejuvenate, and yes, ease the pain.
As you can see, there are many choices in all natural pain relief. The key is to find what works best for you. Keep in mind that treatments can be used in combination, and all of these go great alongside conventional medical care.
Some people do find that they can manage their pain without the use of addictive pain medications, and while they still use over the counter NSAIDs, like aspirin and ibuprofen, they find they can minimize their use by using more natural options.
Always ask your doctor before using any remedies for your pain condition.
Disclaimer: The information in this publication is not intended to be medical advice, it is for informational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed physician for any medical problems you are experiencing.