The top natural methods that help manage pain.
When it comes to a long-term painful condition like arthritis, effective pain management is at the forefront of the mind.
Most of us have a laid back attitude when it comes to pain relief but sometimes this is not the best or most effective form of pain management and in the long run it can even have detrimental effects on the body and especially the liver. Let’s look at 8 of the top natural approaches we can use to manage pain. Some will surprise you!
1. Meditation and deep breathing
It is believed that when we are in a relaxed state we manage pain better. Study has shown that the perception of pain is significantly reduced after practicing meditation on a daily basis and for 20 minutes at a time. Deep breathing helps calm the parasympathetic nervous system and prevents our response to pain. Meditations and deep breathing techniques also help reduce stress which can negatively contribute to the amount of pain we feel. Emotions play an important role in the feeling of pain, as a study showed in 2013, high levels of stress could lead to increased sensitivity to pain. When we are stressed, our body’s repair functions are suppressed because our body chooses to respond to stressful stimuli rather than inflammation wherever it is located. In addition, large amounts of cortisol, the stress hormone, can also be inhibited bone growth by inhibiting the absorption of calcium, thus inhibiting the growth of bone cells.
It’s not exactly a pain relief strategy, as it is a distraction strategy, however, it can be surprisingly effective. Music is believed to enhance the physical, psychological, cognitive and emotional function of the body, as well as the ability to reduce the perception of pain.
Research has shown that patients with chronic pain who listen to music for just one hour a day could experience a significant 21% reduction in pain. If music does not help much, you can achieve similar results by detaching yourself in other similar ways.
3. Massages (massage)
Hair treatment is considered to help increase the levels of endorphins and serotonin which are the natural painkillers of our body and play an important role in regulating our mood. Massage targets the deeper muscle layers and connective tissue to stimulate nerve fibers and reduce pain messages transmitted to and from the brain.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, a 2006 study found that people with osteoarthritis improved their posture in terms of pain relief, stiffness, function, range of motion and walking as a result of massage sessions.
4. A good sleep.
Unfortunately, pain and bad sleep are a twin that causes evil and chaos. When we sleep and to repair it, the body produces anti-inflammatory molecules in the tissues, so getting enough sleep is believed to help reduce inflammation in the body and therefore pain. Research has shown that, as it benefits memory, mood and weight control, sleep can also reduce pain sensitivity. In addition, sleep deprivation can lead to increased production of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. Sleep, however, is often easier said than done – especially when pain is present. We can often feel that it is a vicious cycle where lack of sleep increases sensitivity to pain and the pain makes us stay away from sleep. • Make sure you have a comfortable mattress – a hard mattress can often provide a little more support than a softer mattress. • If you have neck pain, it is good to sleep with one pillow and not two to support the neck in a more neutral position. This will help avoid extreme rotation and excessive stretching.
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, reduce inflammation and bloating, thus reducing pain. A study showed that omega-3 fatty acid supplements had an equivalent effect in reducing pain compared to traditional painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to have this beneficial effect as a result of a compound that helps the anti-inflammatory process work until its end. They are also thought to help change inflammatory prostaglandins that increase inflammation to prostaglandins that reduce it.
You can easily find omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, in foods including fatty fish such as salmon or mackerel, nuts, flaxseed and hemp seeds.
6. Herbs and spices
There are many plants and spices out there that have traditionally been used to help relieve pain and are still used regularly today and can be easily incorporated into our diet. Many of these wonderful herbs and spices are considered effective in relieving pain by helping to block the enzymes that stimulate inflammation. Use fresh herbs whenever you can, as they contain more antioxidants than the dried ones. • Turmeric – contains curcumin, an antioxidant that helps protect the body from harmful free radicals • Ginger – a natural anti-inflammatory that is beneficial for digestion, nausea and pain relief • Cayenne Pepper – contains capsicin Joint pain • Garlic – due to its high content of thiacremonone helps to inhibit inflammatory responses in the body • Cherries – soothe pain by inhibiting COX enzymes that activate the production of inflammatory compounds. In addition, cherries are rich in flavonoids and antioxidants (which is what gives cherries their rich red colour) that can help fight pain.
7. Physical exercise
Now active participation in a physical activity is one of the best and top suggestions when it comes to pain relief – but why? Well, although you may think that the extra movement will make the pain worse you may be wrong.
Exercise activates the release of endorphins, which not only make us feel good emotionally, but also act as natural painkillers in our body. Endorphins work to block our perception of pain by binding to opioid receptors in the brain in a similar way as oxycodone and morphine. Therefore, in order to activate these body-friendly hormones, exercise can simply provide some much-desired pain relief.