Back Pain

Natural Solutions For Aches And Pains

There are many ways to reasons for pain, be it occasional or just daily aches.  From pushing yourself a bit too hard at the gym, or even raking leaves, to knocking your toe or grappling with a chronic pain disorder.  We all have to deal with it at some point whether it’s an occasional discomfort, or something more serious, but when it does happen there is no reason to not try to stop it!  The first reaction for most of us is to reach for something like ibuprofen, Tylenol, or aspirin, but these pharmaceuticals always come with a drain on the liver and other organs, with side effects and risks that are best avoided when possible.  Here we will discuss some natural home remedies for various kinds of pain to give natural, safe relief.

Studies have shown that the average American diet to offer 65% less magnesium than we consumed only a few decades ago and a deficiency in this vital mineral can cause muscles to contract, which is a major trigger for pain.  Keeping a diet high in magnesium rich foods can definitely help, such as avocados, bananas, peanuts, and whole grains.  We can also absorb magnesium through the skin, and Epsom salts are made from magnesium sulfate, so to ease muscle pains try having a soak in the bath a few times a week with two cups of Epsom salt, and enjoy a soak for at least 12-15 minutes.

Chronic pain of any kind has been found to be lessened with gentle exercise like yoga or tai chi when practiced regularly.  Even walking and stretching has been found to lead to a significant improvement in the pain experienced.  Part of the mechanism behind this is the exercise allowing for a relaxation of the body, lowering stress hormones and chemicals and letting the body let go of stress and tension, which lead to a substantial amount of pain, even in chronic pain conditions.

There are many topical creams and rubs that can help surface pain, from aching joints and muscles to complex nerve pain like someone suffering from multiple sclerosis might experience.  My favorite recommendation is a capsaicin based cream, which ironically is the hot chemical that is derived from plants like hot chilies and normally would cause pain, but in a topical cream acts to calm the pain receptors and dull discomfort.  Only apply topically to un-broken skin.

Massage is likely the oldest form of pain control, doubtlessly used since the dawn of man.  Applying pressure with the hands to sore muscles or joints can have a considerably therapeutic effect, easing tension and dulling the pain.  If you have access to a massage therapist, or even just a friend or family member then you have a great resource for pain management, but self-massage and pressure can also be very effective.  You should probably not massage injuries or open skin, however!

Pain because of inflammation, from broken bones to chronic autoimmune conditions can be helped with a number of herbal options.  Turmeric is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory herbs, and is delicious as well!  Turmeric is one of the key spices responsible for the flavor and color of curry, and is effective when consumed as food but can also be taken as a supplement via a tablet or capsule.  The active ingredient of turmeric is curcumin, which lowers body levels of the two enzymes which are responsible for inflammation and can a real bite out of pain.

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