When it comes to experiencing heavy pain, it’s okay if you feel that “sucking it up” isn’t enough to handle the issue. Data shows that 25.3 million adults (11.2 percent) experience chronic pain on some level, chronic pain being defined as pain every day for three months. This can play out in a variety of ways, ranging from limited physical mobility to even stress and mental health issues cause directly or indirectly by the constant state of pain.
A traditional response to pain is generally a prescription for some sort of medication from a doctor, but this isn’t always the best match. For example, not every medication is guaranteed to work for every person. For some, there is also concern about addiction to the opioid family, a group of medications commonly prescribed for pain. If you’re dealing with chronic pain, you want every bit of help to make things right. If your pain was due to someone else’s fault, you may consider legal help from the West Coast Trial Lawyers Personal Injury Law Firm. So why not take a look at the natural world and see what it can do to help you deal with chronic pain?
Let’s start the discussion by making it clear that there is no “magic bullet” for natural pain relief. In the same way that medication isn’t guaranteed to have one type of effect or the other, each natural option has varying degrees of success. What we do have are several natural options that have been held up to scientific scrutiny, and been shown to have positive effects in terms of pain relief. Here are some of the standout options.
Turmeric: You may have heard of this spice from its role in Indian cooking as well as its presence in American mustard, but stopping at its taste is selling this spice short. Turmeric is commonly cited for pain relief because its active ingredient, curcumin, has an important role in inflammation. Inflammation is a natural response the body has to injury, but when it gets out of control, it can lead to several issues, chronic pain included.
Curcumin helps to reduce pain by regulating the inflammatory response. Turmeric has other compounds that fight inflammation but curcumin is the major standout. Several studies done on curcumin and turmeric shown comparable effects to ibuprofen in groups of arthritis patients.
Epsom Salts: This product may be very familiar to people who use older remedies, but this has been a staple for a reason. Not only are Epsom salts easily accessible, but they also are packed with plenty of magnesium, and are a great way to help with pain in the heels or feet, or muscle soreness in general. Magnesium in general is great for those dealing with chronic pain, which is why you may want to add some to your diet via foods or supplements as well. Some magnesium-rich foods include leafy greens, brown rice, bananas, and cashews.
Acupuncture: This Eastern practice may leave you a little skeptical, but it’s not all smoke and mirrors when it comes to pain relief. Holistically, the idea behind it is to balance the body’s flow of qi, or life energy. Practically, some believe that the insertion of needles can trigger the release of serotonin. This brain chemical not only makes us feel good, but can also help ease the feelings of pain. Studies have shown that acupuncture can help with pain from arthritis and migraines.
Physical Therapy: A lot of times, pain may be a leftover issue from a past injury or condition that you didn’t really pay attention to. You may have figured that you got basic use of your body part, so no issues, right? Wrong. There may be lingering issues that lead to chronic pain after the fact, and a physical therapist can not only help you target these issues, but give you advice to avoid further injury in the future. There’s a reason why these professionals are recommended to so many different people.
Pain relief and management are complicated because pain can come from so many sources and occur in so many degrees. In order to set yourself up for success, it’s best to make sure you keep your doctor or medical professional in the loop. Not only may they help you find something that matches the root of your pain, they will also ensure that any tactics you use are still safe.