6 Natural Remedies That Reduce Pain and Improve Quality of Life
Going about your day-to-day activities when you’re in pain is grueling. Pain affects your mood, your relationships with friends and family and your overall quality of life. You’ve probably already tried over-the-counter treatments such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen), and maybe your doctor has prescribed pain relievers such as corticosteroids, opioids or anti-depressants. If you’re looking for a more natural way of managing your pain, you do have options. Natural remedies can be found in the produce department or herb section of your local natural grocery store.
1. Ginger: The ginger extract contains phytochemicals which help stop inflammation. Ginger’s warm essential oil improves circulation and blood flow, helping to relieve tired muscles. Grate four tablespoons of fresh ginger into cheesecloth. Place the cheesecloth under running bathwater and soak your soreness away.
Photo by heymrleej via Flickr
2. Garlic: Garlic is another natural anti-inflammatory. Use it in your cooking, add it to soups and any savory dish. Think garlic bread, garlic potatoes and roasted garlic butter on your asparagus.
Photo by Donovan Govan. via Wikimedia Commons
3. Acupuncture: Some studies show that acupuncture relieves pain, while others disagree. Studies indicate that acupuncture can cause multiple biological responses. Evidence supports that opioid peptides are released during the process and have analgesic effects. To find an acupuncturist certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, visit NCCAOM.org.
Photo by matniejoyce via Flickr
4. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, noninvasive method of treating pain. Commonly called spinal manipulation or chiropractic adjustment, the process works on muscles that have become hypo-mobile due to their restricted movement as a result of injury. Injured tissue undergoes physical and chemical damages that cause inflammation and diminish function. To find a chiropractor registered with the American Chiropractic Association, visit ACAToday.org.
Photo via telegrafi.com
5. Home Exercise: A sedentary lifestyle is not going to take the pain away. Talk with your doctors about what exercises you can do at home to keep your muscles flexible. Weight-bearing exercise can be painful and damaging to an injured body, so consider nonweight-bearing exercises such as swimming or water aerobics to keep your muscles flexible and prevent atrophy.
Photo by LocalFitness via Wikimedia Commons
6. Prescribed Exercises: Talk to your doctor about working with a physical therapist. A physical therapist will work with your doctor to determine the best exercises to do to strengthen your muscles. Muscles can become atrophied with lack of use, making pain worse. Stop the spiraling effect of pain and get moving. Check with your doctor and your insurance provider to understand your coverage and out-of-pocket expenses.
Photo by roger_mommaerts via Flickr