Living in pain is difficult. The pain can keep you up at night, resulting in sleep disorders. Unrelenting pain can also cause mood swings, depression, and anxiety. Pain can be a result of an injury, an accident, an illness, or surgery. Typically, pain is relieved using pain relievers or muscle relaxers. Unfortunately, these medications are often addictive and can cause other problems in the body. Luckily, there are many effective natural ways to manage pain. Let’s take a look at the top twelve ways you can manage your pain naturally.
1. Exercise – If you are in pain, exercise may be the last thing on your mind; however, gradual and persistent exercise can help relieve your pain and discomfort. Incorporating aerobic activity, flexibility exercises, and strength training exercises into your life can help decrease your pain. Aerobic activity like walking, cycling, or swimming reduces stiffness, increases blood flow and oxygen to the body, and causes the body to release endorphins which are natural pain killers. Endorphins work by binding the receptors in your brain, which helps block the perception of pain. Flexibility exercises are used to elongate muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Finally, strength training exercises help support the body and protect it from further injury.
2. Sleep – One of the most important things that you can do to help manage your pain is to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. During sleep, your body makes repairs and heals itself. Practice good sleep hygiene, which includes going to bed at the same time each night, minimizing distractions at bedtime, lowering the temperature of your bedroom, and turning off all electronics an hour or two before bedtime to help ensure you get a full night’s sleep. If you are suffering from neck, back, or hip pain, it may be time to buy a new mattress. You want a mattress and a pillow that provides you with comfortable support.
3. Rest – If you are experiencing chronic pain, it can cause mental and physical exhaustion. If you do too many things, it can overwhelm your body and lead to increased fatigue and pain. Know your limits and rest as needed to help minimize your pain level. However, it is important to realize that resting too long can cause joint pain and stiffness. Rest until your energy levels are restored and your pain has been reduced. Then, get up and try to move around to prevent soreness, stiffness, and pain from setting up in your joints and muscles.
4. Nutritional supplements – Nutrition is key when it comes to reducing the symptoms associated with pain. There are several nutrients that can help improve your health and reduce your pain levels. Vitamin D helps improve bone and muscle health and provides natural anti-inflammatory effects. Magnesium can reduce muscle pain and nerve pain. SAMe has been shown to be as effective as NSAID pain relievers. Furthermore, SAMe can stimulate cartilage production making it a great choice for those suffering from osteoarthritis. Vitamin C is another potent pain reliever. Vitamin C contains antioxidants that can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Nutritional supplements along with a healthy diet can help relieve your pain and provide the body with the nutrients it needs to heal itself naturally.
5. Stress relief techniques –When you are in constant pain, it can stress your body, mind, and soul. Stress has also been associated with increased pain levels, systemic inflammation, and muscle tension. Stress relief techniques like yoga, journaling, meditation, deep breathing exercises, and progressive muscle relaxation decrease your stress levels and relieve your pain naturally. For best results, incorporate stress relief techniques into your daily life to help counteract the effects of pain.
6. Acupuncture – Acupuncture has been used for centuries to reduce pain and enhance relaxation. An acupuncturist will use very fine needles and place them along the meridians. As these needles are placed in the body, it increases blood flow through the body which carries oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues in the body. Furthermore, acupuncture causes the body to release endorphins. Using natural pain management like acupuncture helps reduce stiffness, relieve pain, and promote natural healing. Acupuncture has been shown to relieve knee and hip pain caused by arthritis, neck pain, sciatica, and pain from temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
7. Massage – Massage involves physical touch to help relieve tired, achy muscles, and joints. A massage therapist gently manipulates the muscles in your body, which can improve your range of motion and promote relaxation. There are several different massage techniques that can be used to alleviate your pain, including deep tissue massage, shiatsu massage, and Swedish massage. Massage therapy not only helps relieve pain but can also reduce the anxiety and stress associated with chronic pain.
8. Tai Chi – Tai Chi incorporates low-impact, flowing movements with deep breathing exercises, meditation, and gentle stretching to increase flexibility, strengthen muscles and joints, relieve pain, and reduce stress. Tai chi exercises promote inner peace and relaxation, which can help reduce tension and improve the symptoms associated with both chronic and acute pain. In the beginning, it may seem impossible to perform the tai chi movements; however, with time, you will begin noticing an increase in flexibility, stamina, and pain reduction.
9. Capsaicin – Capsaicin is the active compound found in peppers that give them heat. Capsaicin is used in pain relieving creams and lotions. Capsaicin creates the sensation of heat, which activates nerve cells to relieve joint and muscle pain naturally. Capsaicin is a topical pain relieving treatment that is effective, natural, and nonaddictive. Capsaicin can help to relieve a variety of joint conditions like osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, muscle sprains and strains, fibromyalgia, and neuropathy.
10. Biofeedback – Biofeedback is a type of psychological therapy that teaches you how to control your pain using the power of your mind. Biofeedback uses visual and auditory feedback to control blood pressure, blood flow, heart rate, and much more, which can help decrease your pain levels naturally. As you learn to control your pain through the power of your mind, you will be able to reduce your pain, stress, and anxiety. Biofeedback can help relieve abdominal pain, lower back pain, fibromyalgia, headaches, and tight muscles.
11. Chiropractic medicine – Chiropractic medicine works by manipulating the spine and realigning it to promote healing, reduce pain, and improve function. This hands on medicine approach works by aligning the skeleton, nerves, and muscles to reduce pain, promote healing, and reduce inflammation in the body. When the spine is misaligned, it can press on nerves, resulting in pain. Chiropractic medicine realigns the spine to relieve pressure on the nerves and relieves your pain naturally.
12. Herbal medicine – Herbal medicine uses natural remedies to help relieve your pain. There are many herbs that help to reduce inflammation and decrease stress levels. Some of the top herbs to be used include valerian root, chamomile, turmeric, and ginger. Herbal remedies can be taken internally or can be applied topically to relieve stress and reduce your pain levels.
The dangers of over the counter and prescription medicines
Pain medications, including prescription and over the counter medications, can cause a plethora of side effects. In addition to causing addiction, these medications can increase the risk of a heart attack, cause impaired kidney function, stomach ulcers, and stroke. Using natural pain remedies does not cause these side effects. Natural pain relief practices reduce your pain levels, decrease inflammation, and promote healing.
Pain can be caused by inflammation, irritation, injury, or illness. You can experience joint pain, muscle stiffness, and morning stiffness. Living with pain causes increased stress levels and interferes with your overall health and well-being. Learning how to relieve your pain naturally can help improve your life. Combine a healthy diet with gentle exercises, herbal remedies, massage, acupuncture, and mind-body techniques to help relieve your pain.