Do you need some natural ways to relieve pain? Chronic pain can affect anyone at any age, no matter their race or gender. But did you know that women are more likely to suffer from pain than men?
Women are more prone to certain conditions and diseases, like fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis. A lack of testosterone may also be the culprit. There are certainly social and psychological components to take into consideration, as well.
We're no strangers to over-the-counter painkillers and prescription opiates. It seems like these are often the only ways to treat pain. But what if there were ways both men and women could treat pain without medication?
The good news is that there are natural ways to cope with pain. And in this article, we’re bringing you 5 awesome natural ways to relieve pain. Let’s begin!
1. Exercise as a Form of Physical Therapy
Exercise is the remedy of all remedies, as it does wonders for our bodies and mindsets. We may think that exercise can worsen an injury or pain. But believe it or not, it can actually do the opposite! In fact, it might be one of the best natural ways to relieve pain.
Any type of exercise will release endorphins, which are natural painkillers. Of course, some forms of exercise are better at treating certain types of pain. But what are some general exercises that can help you cope with pain naturally? Here are a few examples:
• Tai Chi
• Low-impact weight lifting
If you suffer from pain, it’s important to consult with your doctor before you begin any type of exercise.
2. Eat More anti-Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation is one of our body’s biological responses to harmful stimuli. Redness, swelling, heat, and pain are some of the tell-tale signs of inflammation. And it’s these symptoms that let us know when something has gone awry with our bodies.
However, some diseases trigger inflammatory responses even when no harm has occurred. When this happens, we can experience the symptoms of inflammation, only longer lasting.
While diet alone can’t get rid of pain altogether, there are foods that can help with inflammation. So, which foods help us to cope with pain naturally?
For starters, leafy greens, like kale and spinach, are the way to go. Eat a balance of green, red, and purple vegetables. Brussels sprouts, rhubarb, and eggplant are some great anti-inflammatory vegetables.
The same goes for fruit. Include a variety of purple grapes, blood oranges, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. These fruits contain plenty of antioxidants to help relieve pain.
An anti-inflammatory diet should also include whole grains and plant-based proteins. These include tofu, nuts, and beans. Omega-3 fatty acids are key, so you’ll want to eat plenty of salmon, herring, and tuna, as well.
Limit your intake of omega 6-fatty acids and processed and prepackaged foods.
3. Include anti-inflammatory Herbs & Supplements in Your Diet
You should never take herbal medicines unless directed by your doctor. However, some herbs and supplements have anti-inflammatory qualities that can help with pain.
What are some of these anti-inflammatory herbs and supplements? Here are some examples:
You can also enjoy herbal teas when you're looking for pain relief. These types of teas include chamomile, peppermint, ginseng, calendula, and feverfew.
Getting enough omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins E and C are also important if you suffer from chronic pain. In some cases, vitamin D deficiencies may be to blame for chronic pain.
Again, consult with your doctor before taking any herbs, vitamins, or supplements.
4. Consider Alternative Treatment
Seeking medical help is inevitable when you suffer from debilitating, persistent pain. At some point, you may consider an alternative therapy, like massage and acupuncture.
Some pain patients are finding relief with TENS unit therapy, for example. A TENS unit is a portable device that releases electrical pulses. These electrical pulses go on to stimulate damaged nerve fibers and reduce inflammation. Depending on their setting, a TENS unit can also provide a massage.
Alternative treatments like TENS units don’t produce side effects, unlike prescription painkillers. This makes them ideal. However, you should only undergo alternative therapy under the supervision of a licensed doctor.
5. Hot & Cold Therapy (along with Plenty of Rest!)
Applying ice and heating pads to areas of pain may seem like obvious solutions. But hot and cold therapies can do wonders for people looking to cope with pain naturally.
Heat therapy can improve blood flow and relax nerves, tense muscles, and stiff joints. Moist heating pads and long warm showers are great forms of heat therapy you can try. Dry heating packs and electric blankets can also help.
It’s true that cold therapy, like icing, can reduce swelling. But cold therapy also promotes circulation and stimulates tissue repair. Gel ice packs and specialized cold wraps are best. But when in doubt, a bag of frozen vegetables wrapped in a towel can work just as well.
Hot and cold therapies can relieve both local and widespread pain. However, their applications are not same.
15-20 minutes of heat therapy usually suffices for minor pain and stiffness. You can take a warm bath or apply a heating pad between 30 minutes and 2 hours for more severe pain.
Cold therapy requires shorter periods of application, multiple times per day. You should only apply ice packs and cold wraps for up to 20 minutes at a time. You should also elevate the area that’s in pain while applying cold treatment.
It may seem like a given, but getting plenty of rest helps with pain, as well. We're more sensitive to pain when we're overtired. Our bodies also can’t function 100% when we’re sleep deprived.
When you suffer from pain, give yourself the TLC your body needs. Get plenty of rest and at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night!
So, pop in a movie, elevate your legs and apply hot or cold treatment after a long hard day.
Pain is a natural part of being human. Unfortunately, some types of pain can be so severe that it interferes with a person’s quality of life.
Luckily, the way we understand pain and how to treat it is constantly evolving. By following these 5 tips, it’s possible to cope with pain naturally - no medication required!