Arnica wildflowers are used to make a pain-fighting ointment. (iStock)
An estimated 100 million people in the U.S. suffer from chronic pain, TIME
reports. Of those, between 5 and 8 million useopioids
– painkillers like Vicodin or OxyContin – for long-term pain management.
Prescription drugs aren’t always the answer, though, says a recent report
from the NIH, which cites a need for a more individualized approach to treating chronic pain.
1. Acupuncture: Used to treat pain for centuries, acupuncture may trigger nerves that tell the brain to release endorphins, which naturally dull pain. A 2012 study found that acupuncture eased knee pain in a third of patients.
2. Capsaicin: Topical capsaicin, derived from hot chili peppers, may help relieve pain. “Capsaicin works by depleting substance P, a compound that conveys the pain sensation from the peripheral to the central nervous system. It takes a couple of days for this to occur,” Dr. David Kiefer, assistant clinical professor of medicine at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, tells Everyday Health.
3. Physical therapy: Although exercise is often the last thing you want to do when you’re in pain, moving your body can prevent symptoms from getting worse. In one study, 79 percent of sciatica patients who did physical therapy (PT) in addition to receiving routine care saw recovery or significant improvement. Only 56 percent of patients who did not do PT saw the same results.
4. Vitamin C: A study in Arthritis & Rheumatism found that 500 milligrams of vitamin C per day helped ease knee pain in patients. Papaya, bell peppers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and strawberries are all good sources.
5. Arnica gel: This homeopathic ointment, derived from the flowers of the perennial arnica plant, has been used for medicinal purposes since the 1500s. Rub it on regularly to soothe arthritis and other aches.
6. Mental health help: Anxiety and depression can trigger physical pain as well as emotional distress. Treating these disorders can significantly reduce chronic pain.
7. Aromatherapy: In a study published in the Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain, massaging areas of discomfort with essential oils (including rosemary, eucalyptus and aloe vera) was shown to alleviate pain.
8. Turmeric: This anti-inflammatory spice – which contains the chemical curcumin – has been shown to relieve arthritis pain when eaten regularly.
9. Mindfulness: Because stress often increases pain levels, mastering relaxation can help. Try meditation, positive visualization or progressive relaxation to de-stress and ease pain.
10. Support groups: Knowing you’re not alone with your pain can be a lifesaver – not only because you can share your story with people who empathize, but because you can learn what strategies are working for others.
At Healing Your Wa
y we offer, recommend, and educate you on the use of many of these natural remedies. We offer Acupuncture, Hypnotherapy, herbal Remedies and much more. Visit our list of services at www.healingyourway.com/services/
to find out how we can be of services to you in maintaining your health. Visit us on Facebook
and you tube
to watch our educational videos and keep updated on our scheduled live educational events at Healing Your Way.