(Ivanhoe Newswire) - Pain affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. While many find relief in the form of a pill, there are natural alternatives to help end the aches.
"I had to lie down in bed all the time," Nancy Bruce, a back pain sufferer told Ivanhoe.
"I would compare it to the pain women tell me they feel at childbirth," Tom Connelnn, a shoulder pain sufferer told Ivanhoe.
Licensed naturopathic physician, Doctor Kirti Kalidas, said you can fight pain without prescription or over-the-counter drugs.
"There are plenty of anti-inflammatory [options] out there," Dr. Kalidas told Ivanhoe.
Willow bark contains salicin acid. In a study of nearly 200 people with lower back pain, those who received willow bark experienced a significant improvement in pain compared to those who received a placebo. You should boil one to two leaves and make a tea when pain sets in.
Another way to end the aches? Curcumin. Used for hundreds of years, the antioxidant, which is a component of turmeric, can be found in curry. A study shows if used regularly curcumin could change DNA regulation to help kill cancer.
For joint pain, look to the sea. Research published in Nutrition Journal found the red seaweed supplement aquamin, reduced osteoathritis pain in study participants by 20-percent in one month. For headaches, use the stuff that makes peppers hot: capsaicin.
"It's basically used to get rid of acute pain because it controls the signaling process on the nerves and you can use it in the topical fashion," Dr. Kalidas said.
A study found migraine patients who applied capsaicin cream inside their nostrils decreased their pain by almost half. The doctor said these natural remedies are great short term solutions for your pain, but if it persists, you should talk to your doctor.
"We have to look at the root cause," Dr. Kalidas concluded.
If you want to avoid painful needles at the doctor's office try counting backwards from 100 out loud. A Japanese study shows patients who did just that experienced less pain.
SUPPLEMENTS REALLY WORK? For people who have less tolerance for the side effects of traditional pain medications, supplements could do the trick. That said, no one should be mixing pain supplements and medications without seeing a doctor first. It could be risky. So make sure your health care provider knows about all the medicines and supplements you use. Also, supplements can get pricey, so traditional NSAIDS are cheap and effective treatment that should also be considered. (Source: WebMD.com)
POTENTIAL SUPPLEMENTS FOR PAIN MANAGEMENT:
Anti-inflammatory plants and herbs: Because they work in the same way as NSAIDs, these pain supplements do pose some of the same risks, such as bleeding and stomach upset. However, the side effects tend to be less severe. People on blood-thinning drugs check with a doctor before using any of these pain supplements.
Vitamin D: A number of studies have linked low levels of vitamin D with increased levels of chronic pain.
Glucosamine sulfate: There's especially strong evidence that this pain supplement can help relieve osteoarthritis pain in the knee. Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin, which could have an additional benefit. Glucosamine could not only ease pain, but also slow the progression of osteoarthritis.
Acetyl-L-carnitine: Several studies have found that the nutrient acetyl-L-carnitine can ease nerve pain from diabetes. This pain supplement also seems to regenerate damaged nerves and, over time, restore sensitivity.
Alpha-lipoic acid: Like acetyl-L-carnitine, alpha-lipoic acid seems to help with diabetic neuropathy. It not only reduces pain, but also seems to slow down the progression of the nerve injury. It may also enhance insulin sensitivity and help with nerve damage caused by cancer treatments.
Bromelain: Bromelain can reduce inflammation and pain. Some studies have found it helpful in osteoarthritis and knee pain. There's some uncertainty about how well it gets absorbed in digestion, given that it could be neutralized by stomach acid. More research needs to be done.
Riboflavin (vitamin B2): Could help reduce the frequency of migraines. (Source: WebMD.com)
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