Managing Pain Naturally
Managing Pain Naturally
No one wants to live in pain. When in pain, most people take an aspirin, Aleve, Advil, Tylenol etc. Pain is a signal that something is wrong with the body. It is best to treat the cause of the pain, not the pain itself.
Western culture has in recent years has become enormously dependent on pill popping. The moment we have any kind of ailment we want a pill to cure it quick. However, the over-the-counter medicines are not without side-effects. Indeed, historic evidence points to too much aspirin as a contributor to high death tolls during the 1918-1919 flu pandemic. Most causes of death from influenza are actually the result of pneumonia. Deaths from flu in 1918 were attributable to lung complications, potentially caused by taking too much aspirin. Aspirin was widely recommended during the 1918 flu pandemic, but taking too much leads to aspirin toxicity. The result is hemorrhage and fluid buildup in the lungs that can lead to death from respiratory complications.
Pain control is a classic example of this; if you have a head ache take a pill. But for long term pain sufferers, such as those with fibromyalgia, arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, pain management becomes an issue. Negative side effects can make the risks of sustained consumption of pain-killers a real turn off.
But all of us should think carefully about how much we use pain-killers. Well-known brands of pain killing tablets such as Motrin, contain the anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen. Recent years studies have built up a compelling picture of the dangers of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, particularly with regard to stomach bleeding.
Other pain management medications referred to in medicine as Natural Steroidal Anti-Inflammatories (NSAIDS) account for nearly 33% of all adverse drug effects and a staggering 76,000 hospitalizations. Common side-effects of NSAIDS, aspirin, Tylenol, acetaminophen, Advil, Aleve etc., are:
- Nausea, vomiting
- Liver and Kidney Failure
Foods that control pain:
- Oranges - By analyzing the diets of over 25,000 individuals a team from the University of Manchester, UK found that those with beta-cryptoxanthin in their diet (found in oranges, apricots, nectarines, tangerines, papaya, peaches, plums, and watermelon) were less likely to develop painful joints conditions
- Omega 3’s - In a study at the University of Pittsburgh of 250 patients experiencing neck and back pain, 60% experienced an improvement in their overall pain after three months of consuming omega-3, found in oily fish. This result aligns with other studies that show that fish oil has an anti-inflammatory effect. Fish is not the only source of omega-3 it can also be found in flaxseed/linseed oil and in other nuts and seeds.
- Grapes- The chemical resveratrol, naturally found in the skins of grapes (particularly red grapes), in mulberries, nuts and wine inhibits the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX). This is same action that aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs perform. But there is a beneficial difference; like aspirin resveratrol blocks COX-2 that causes inflammation and pain but unlike aspirin it doesn't block COX-1 which assists in the healing of the stomach lining.
- Asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, avocados, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, and watermelon are all rich in the powerful antioxidant glutathione. There is some evidence to show that glutathione lowers the risk of developing arthritis. Other antioxidants are vitamins C and E and can be found in citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, berries and tomatoes.
- Eat nuts and seeds - Hazelnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are all good sources of tryptophan. In tests tryptophan has been shown to reduce pain sensitivity approximate one hour after it is consumed. Other sources of tryptophan are dairy products, Eat Flavonoids(Apples, Green Tea, Onions) - There is a growing theory that the compounds that give color to fruits and vegetables (flavonoids) are key in disease prevention. They are thought to slow the bodies process of degeneration, which can be no bad thing for pain suffers.
A few other safe and natural ways to treat pain include:
- Ginger: This herb is anti-inflammatory and offers pain relief and stomach-settling properties. Fresh ginger works well steeped in boiling water as a tea or grated into vegetable juice.
- Boswellia: Also known as Boswellia or "Indian frankincense," this herb contains specific active anti-inflammatory ingredients. This is one of my personal favorites as I have seen it work well with many rheumatoid arthritis patients
- Bromelain: This enzyme found in pineapples, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It can be taken in supplement form but eating fresh pineapple may also be helpful.
- Cetyl Myristoleate (CMO): This oil, found in fish and dairy butter, acts as a "joint lubricant" and an anti-inflammatory. I have used this for myself to relieve ganglion cysts and a mild annoying carpal tunnel syndrome that pops up when I type too much on non-ergonomic keyboards. I used a topical preparation for this.
- Evening Primrose, Black Currant and Borage Oils: These contain the essential fatty acid gamma linolenic acid (GLA), which is useful for treating arthritic pain.
- Cayenne: Also called capsaicin, this spice comes from dried hot peppers. It alleviates pain by depleting the body's supply of substance P, a chemical component of nerve cells that transmits pain signals to your brain.
Natural Pain solutions
West Clinic’s Natural Prescription for Pain Control (Pill Form)
- Ultimate Omega (omega 3) or
- Inflammax- a powerful bio-flavonoid formula and/or
- Bromelain - a inflammation “eater” and /or
- Cayenne Pepper –a pain substance inhibitor and/or
West Clinic’s Natural Prescription for pain control (creams)
- T-Relief Cream
- Bio-Freeze™ Cream
Dr Jason West