Living with chronic pain can be debilitating and depressing. Every action becomes an arduous chore because the pain is wearing you out. Depending on the type of pain you have, your doctor may prescribe pain killers and recommend other activities to relieve your pain.
For example, if you have chronic back pain, you may need to consume medication and go for physiotherapy. Massage and stretching may be recommended too. It all depends on the individual and the pain they’re enduring.
That said, using holistic methods to treat your pain can work wonders too. These techniques will be especially helpful for those who experience side effects from consuming pain killers.
Furthermore, while medication treats the symptoms, it usually doesn’t address the root cause. The natural pain relief methods will work with your body and may even treat the cause of your problem.
Let’s look at 6 ways to naturally treat your pain…
Most pain in the body is either caused by inflammation or exacerbated by it. Reducing your inflammation is one of the fastest ways to reduce your pain – and curcumin is an excellent anti-inflammatory.
This natural compound which is found in turmeric has been used by Indians for years and is only now gaining popularity in the West. You can find curcumin supplements in most reputable health stores or online at places like Amazon.
Magnesium deficiency can be a cause for a myriad of health problems ranging from fatigue to impaired nerve function.
Consuming foods rich in magnesium such as almonds, avocados, cashews, and pumpkin seeds will help your body get the magnesium it needs.
Eating magnesium-rich foods is superior to consuming a magnesium supplement. So you’ll want to ensure that these foods are a part of your diet.
When your body has sufficient magnesium, it’ll be less likely to experience cramps, twitches, and you’ll discover that your pain abates quite a bit.
Unfortunately, many people are magnesium deficient. If you’re unable to get the amount of magnesium you need through food, then it’s important to take a magnesium supplement, via capsule or liquid form. You can even use the spray form of magnesium to boost your magnesium levels.
Heat and cold therapy
It may seem strange that both types of therapy can be used to treat pain – and yet they work.
What’s important is that you understand how each therapy works. This will allow you to use the right one to treat your pain.
When you wake up in the morning, your body will generally be stiff and ache more. In situations like these, using heat therapy will warm up your muscles and make them more pliant and limber.
The increased blood flow and flood of nutrients to the affected area will ease the pain and stiffness. This is a very helpful method for treating pain caused by arthritis, rheumatism, or tight muscles.
So, what’s cold therapy for?
Cold therapy is used for acute pain that could be a result of a sprain, swelling, bruise, etc. Generally, one will either use frozen gel packs or ice water on the affected area to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
Since the cold will lower the skin temperature and temporarily ‘numb’ the nerves, you’ll experience relatively quick pain relief.
Do note that too much cold treatment for long periods can do more damage than good. Therefore, limit your cold treatments to 10-15 minutes in duration.
There’s a common misconception that when you’re in pain, you need to rest completely. Nothing could be further from the truth.
If you visited a hospital, you’d notice that people who have been injured in car accidents or other traumatic events, will attend physiotherapy where they slowly move their joints to keep them functional. They may also walk gingerly with assistance from a nurse.
They’re not resting 24/7 on a bed, are they?
No. They’re staying active.
Physiotherapy is just a fancy word for light exercise. The patients are moving their joints and working their muscles to speed up the healing process.
Similarly, you’ll want to do gentle exercises such as yoga, light stretching, Pilates and slow walking to help improve your blood circulation and mobility. Speak to your doctor first and see what exercises you’re allowed to do. Then do them regularly and maintain your health.
Not only will you get healthier and more flexible, but your pain management will be better. Like Joseph Pilates said, “If your spine is inflexibly stiff at 30, you are old; if it is completely flexible at 60, you are young.”
Just like curcumin, ginger has anti-inflammatory properties. Add a few thin slices to your soup or when cooking rice. Alternatively, you may consume ginger tea which is just as good. Since ginger has a strong flavor, some people may need some time to acquire the taste for it.
This is one of those treatments that’s hit or miss. While it works well for many people, it may or may not have an effect on some. Since we’re all different individuals, this is understandable. The only way you’ll know if aromatherapy works for you will be to give it a try.
Essential oils are a great way to relieve pain as well as other ailments. The success rate of alleviating health issues often depends on the type of essential oil you use for the issue as well as the quality of the essential oil. In other words, do not run to your local drugstore thinking you can just grab whatever essential oils they have! You’ll have to do your research to learn about the best essential oils for you. Do remember that you’ll need to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil such as coconut oil or olive oil before you massage it into your skin.
Some people may prefer to use a diffuser and breathe in the aroma rather than using the oil on their skin. Once again, it’s a matter of personal preference. Do what works for you.
In conclusion, while natural remedies may take longer to reduce the pain than a pill or tablet, they’re just as effective in the long run. You can use these natural methods even if you’re on medication. They’re not mutually exclusive. You’ll just have to give the natural remedy time to build up in your system to benefit from it. As always, be sure to consult with your doctor to make sure the natural methods do not interfere with your medications in any way.
While these natural methods may not work for everyone, chances are high that at least one of the tips above will help to relieve your pain. You’ll only know if you use them.
Start today and manage your pain naturally without relying only on prescription medication. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose.