Many individuals have discovered that a great way to help supplement conventional medications for chronic pain is through natural pain management options. In general, the following natural pain relief solutions are easy to try, cheap, and have the potential to decrease your pain.
- Release your inner endorphins.
The natural pain killers released by your body are endorphins. They work to suppress the perception of pain by connecting to the opioid receptors in your brain. Spurring increased output of these natural hormones will greatly help alleviate your pain, as well as create deep feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. While endorphins can be released into your bloodstream by any activity that gets your blood flowing for a prolonged time, consult with your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
- Find support and understanding
Chronic pain is usually unnoticed, unlike a broken leg or another visible symptom of injury. It is a deeply personal experience, and sometimes lonely. We urge you to find individuals that can be compassionate and understanding if this is the case for you. In your local neighborhood or hospital, a chronic pain support group might be present. Or you may choose to have online experiences. You can start searching for support from a local or online site, and then move on to discover that you have a lot to offer, and helping others is also a way to help yourself.
- Enjoy the outdoors
Exposure to the sun for 10 to 15 minutes a day will help the body develop vitamin D.Although some studies have shown that supplementation with vitamin D can help alleviate chronic pain2, there are no other studies and further research is required. However, being out in the sunshine will improve the mood and encourage improved immune function as well.
- Soak in warm water
Soaking the body in warm water, as well as different kinds of arthritis, will relieve many forms of muscle pain and muscle spasm. For a warm soak, there are many choices, including a deep bath, a whirlpool tub, or a warm water therapy pool.
- Try dry heat therapy
There are plenty of other heat treatment options for your discomfort if a soak is not for you, or you want to apply heat more frequently. Consider applying a heat pack or an adhesive back wrap that supplies low-level continuous heat. Before using a heat therapy device, just remember to carefully read instructions to minimize the risk of a burn or other injury.
- Enjoy essential oils
Essential oils have long been prized in many cultures for their analgesic effects. Some people inhale them (aromatherapy), others have multiple drops in their massage oil and enjoy them as part of a therapeutic massage. There are several ways to benefit from essential oils. Several oils, in particular, are known to have an analgesic effect when paired with conventional treatment treatments, including peppermint oil, rosemary oil and lavender, although further research is needed.5 Before selecting an essential oil, read its label for intended use to minimize the risk of complications such as toxic or allergic reactions.
- Try massage therapy
A high-quality therapeutic massage improves blood flow, decreases muscle tension, and enhances well-being sensations. Through hands-on massage by a skilled massage therapist, massage therapy is characterized as the manipulation of soft tissue muscles, tendons, and ligaments. There is no substantial consensus in terms of how much massage therapy can help relieve pain, like many complementary treatments, or which form of massage is better for which type of pain, so you will need to try more than one treatment to see what works best for you.
- Stretch and loosen up
The stretching of the soft tissues (the muscles, ligaments, and tendons) in and around the spine will help almost anyone. Your back is built for movement, and it will make your back pain worse if your mobility is restricted because you are in pain.
- Meditate and relax.
In many varieties, meditation comes, some complex, others simple. One common method is simply to find a sound that is agreeable to you, but may or may not have a sense (such as “som” or another sound), close your eyes, sit still and comfortably, and repeat the sound in your head. Note that they have drifted and returned to your sound as your thoughts wander. Note the pain and return to the sound if you feel the pain. Start with a few minutes and, if you find meditation to be relaxing, eventually extend it to 30 minutes.
- Imagine yourself in a better place
Hearing and internalizing therapeutic ideas are part of this type of therapy, called guided imagery, to help you feel better and devalue pain signals. Half of the women listened to a 10 to 15 minute documented script twice daily in one study of 28 women with osteoarthritis pain that directed them through techniques of muscle relaxation. Within 12 weeks, women in the directed imagery community reported statistically substantial changes in their pain levels and mobility relative to women in the control group who did not see any improvements. Using online videos, phone apps, or CDs, guided imagery can be studied with a practitioner or on your own.
- Swap more anti-inflammatory foods into your diet
Anti-inflammatory foods may play a role in reducing pain for some individuals, such as fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats, whole grains, beans, nuts, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Both the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet contain plenty of anti-inflammatory foods and have been associated with a decreased risk of disease and enhanced heart health. While some research indicates that an anti-inflammatory diet can help reduce obesity-related pain and osteoarthritis, there is a need for further research.
- Laugh more often
One research found that pain tolerance is improved by social laughter. It was shown that laughing along with others had the highest positive effects. Laughter has many beneficial effects, including increasing the absorption of blood supply and oxygen and improving the number of endorphins (the natural pain killers of the body) in the body. There is a whole trend called laughter yoga that allows people to appreciate the many advantages of laughter without having to laugh for a reason, concentrating only on laughing for their own sake.
- Get enough restorative sleep
To manage pain and promote healing, having enough sleep is crucial, so it is important to employ a variety of sleep aids to help get a good amount of sleep. Regular exercise that exhausts the body physically helps to facilitate deep sleep. It can also help you get to sleep and stay asleep with visualization, meditation, and other therapeutic strategies.
- Ice it
By slowing the nerve impulses, the use of ice and/or a cold gel pack can help to minimize discomfort and numb pain in the sore region. In general, with a rest of at least 2 hours between applications, limit ice therapy to 15 or 20 minutes and maintain a layer between the ice and your skin to minimize the risk of skin injury.
These natural pain-relieving tips are meant as suggestions for you to consider treating chronic pain on your personal journey. Speak to your doctor about medical care options if your discomfort worsens or restricts your ability to perform daily tasks.