If you suffer from a chronic pain condition, you are certainly in good company. Chronic pain impacts a staggering 50 million U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To treat chronic pain, physicians create a pain management program for their patients based on prescription pain relievers, natural pain relievers, or a combination of both. We will explore the natural chronic pain relief options.
Natural Pain Relievers for Chronic Pain
The field of integrative medicine offers some herbal solutions for helping to manage chronic pain without narcotic-based interventions. These include:
Chronic back or joint pain. If you struggle with ongoing back or joint pain, applying heat through a heating pad or by attaching a heat pack to the problem area can offer some relief. Also, consider these natural pain relief supplements:
- Glucosamine and chondroitin with aspirin
- Capsicum cream
Arthritis. Arthritis pain is often associated with inflammation, so applying an ice pack or cold gel pack along with NSAIDs can provide pain relief. In addition, here are some supplements that may also help mitigate arthritis pain:
- Omega-3 fatty acids, either dietary sources or fish oil supplements
- Glucosamine and chondroitin
Fibromyalgia. Fibromyalgia causes chronic muscle pain that might be relieved through controlling stress levels, getting adequate sleep, and the following supplements:
- Vitamin D
Add Holistic Activities for Additional Natural Chronic Pain Relief
To further your quest for natural pain relief, add more pain-relieving punch by employing some of these holistic solutions:
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that involves inserting tiny needles into strategic locations on the body. This helps to open up “qi,” or energy flow, by changing blood flow and chemical levels that can result in reduced pain.
- Therapeutic massage. Massage helps those who struggle with lower back pain or chronic tension headaches, and helps individuals with fibromyalgia by improving sleep quality. Massage can disrupt the body’s pain loop by stimulating the large diameter nerve fibers.
- Meditation. Practicing meditation is a way of controlling your thoughts and redirecting them from a stressful trigger, such as pain. Learning how to practice meditation as part of the natural pain relief strategy helps train the mind to refocus on soothing sensations, distracting you from the pain.
- Water exercise. Gentle swimming or participating in pool exercises can be beneficial for chronic pain management, especially arthritis joint pain. Sometimes arthritis pain is so debilitating that pool exercises might be the only fitness activity tolerated. A warm bath in Epsom salts can also be soothing for arthritis pain.
- Essential oils. The effects of chronic pain can be somewhat relieved through the use of aromatherapy. Essential oils are the concentrated liquids extracted from plants and flowers. For chronic pain, try ginger, wintergreen, lemongrass, marjoram, or peppermint oils. Rub first in the palms and then massage into the problem pain area.
If you are looking for natural ways to relieve chronic pain due to an ongoing medical condition or injury, try including these non-pharmaceutical solutions to help improve daily functioning.
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