For millions of people around the world, chronic pain is, unfortunately, a way of life. While some people prefer to treat pain with over-the-counter or prescription medicine, others seek out natural ways to relieve pain.
Whether you want to try natural solutions because of a life philosophy or sensitivity to addiction, you have plenty of options to explore. Keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for others and that many pain-relief solutions treat the symptom of pain, not the root cause. But if you are interested in natural remedies and are open to trying different practices, you may just find a substance or exercise that works for you and your specific symptoms.
Whether you want to try natural ways to relieve pain because of a life philosophy or sensitivity to addiction, you have plenty of options to explore.
Foods with Pain-Relieving Properties
Whether your pain is the result of sleeping on the wrong mattress, a high-intensity workout, or the beginnings of a pesky cold, various foods and drinks may be just as helpful as pain pills. Incorporating healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in your diet does more than just fill your stomach; many natural foods have anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving properties.
While certain foods can cause inflammation, like wheat, chocolate, meat, eggs, and corn, other foods can prevent it. Here are three types of food with possible pain-dulling effects:
- Ginger– Known as the wonder root, ginger combats motion sickness and nausea and fights pain. One study shows that ginger, especially in the form of a 250-gram or 500-gram capsule of powdered ginger, effectively relieves menstrual cramps just as well as ibuprofen. Consider adding ginger to tea, cookies, or stir-fry to tap into its many benefits.
- Coffee– You may be surprised to hear that caffeine may reduce exercise-induced muscular pain, according to this 2006 study. Additionally, caffeine offers increased pain relief when consumed with a standard dose of pain reliever, such as ibuprofen. What better reason do you need to grab that second cup of joe?
- Salmon– Not only is salmon tasty and loaded with protein, but it’s also full of omega-3 fatty acids that may reduce arthritic pain. In one study, the test subjects experienced pain relief effects from taking omega-3s in the form of fish oil supplements similar to those observed after taking ibuprofen.
Warming and Cooling
Both heat and cooling therapies can relieve joint or muscle pain. However, it’s sometimes unclear whether to use cold or heat when treating pain.
Heat improves blood and nutrients’ flow to the specific area of the body where it’s applied and works well for joint stiffness, muscle spasms, etc. Nonetheless, you shouldn’t use hot packs for the first 48 hours in the case of an injury.
To apply heat, dampen a towel with warm water and place it on the affected area to ease the pain. If you use heat pads, make sure there’s no direct contact between the heated item and the skin.
On the contrary, cold slows the blood flow, numbing the affected area, reducing swelling and pain. Cold compresses are ideal for short-term pain like that from a strain or sprain. When you dampen a towel with cold water, you should put it in a sealable bag and place it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before using it on the affected area.
If you struggle with chronic pain, using cannabis products may be an effective option for pain relief.
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two of the primary compounds in cannabis. While CBD is famous for its relaxing effects, THC causes the feeling of being high. Both of these compounds are often used for pain relief.
CBD works for inflammatory pain like that caused by arthritis. It prevents pain by stalling inflammatory mediators and reducing inflammation. CBD also enhances the effects of glycine receptors, which help relieve pain at the spinal level.
On the other hand, THC relieves neuropathic and central pain, alongside pain caused conditions cancer and fibromyalgia. Like CBD, THC has anti-inflammatory properties. Since medical and recreational marijuana is legal in Canada, you can easily find weed for sale online or at your local dispensary.
Research suggests that meditation could suppress pain, reduce anxiety and depression, and offer a better quality of life. If you’re interested in meditation, know that there is no single right way to meditate. One easy way to meditate is by choosing a sound that you find pleasing but has no particular meaning. Then, sit or lay down at a comfortable location, close your eyes, and repeat the sound in your mind.
While one or more of these natural pain relievers may work for you, remember that pain is your body signaling that something is wrong. I
Be Careful When Treating Pain
While one or more of these natural pain relievers may work for you, remember that pain is your body signaling that something is wrong. It might be temporary, like in the case of a strained muscle, but it can also mean that you are suffering from a health problem that requires medical evaluation. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to a healthcare provider.
Have you tried natural ways to relieve pain?
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