Today, most of us know what it’s like to be in pain. Whether you suffer from arthritis, muscle pain, joint pain, or neuralgia, pain can keep you from doing the things you love or just getting through a normal day.
Body pain is the result of an electrical signal being sent from the nerves surrounding areas such as joints or muscles, through the nervous system to your brain. When an injury occurs, such as a sprained ankle, the damaged tissue releases chemicals called prostaglandins (similar to hormones), which causes the tissue to swell. Prostaglandins also amplify electrical signals from the nerves increasing the pain you feel.
How Does Conventional Pain Relief Work?
Pain relievers work with the body’s cells, nerve endings, nervous system, and brain to block you from feeling the pain. The initial pain is the body’s early warning system that there is something wrong. This allows you time to take action to correct the issue. The body uses initial pain as a ‘good’ thing. If you couldn’t feel pain, you would suffer awful injury and could end up with infections.
Taking Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen keeps injured or damaged cells from making and releasing prostaglandin and when the body doesn’t release this chemical, the brain won’t get the pain message as quickly or clearly. Unfortunately, when you stop taking these drugs, the pain returns. This may increase the risk of addiction to pain killers, as you may become dependent on the short-term relief that they produce.
The most commonly NSAID’s include: 1.Aspirin (Bufferin, Bayer, and Excedrin) 2.Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin) 3.Ketoprofen (Actron, Orudis) 4.Naproxen (Aleve)
These conventional pain relievers also carry the risk of side effects. While Aspirin has some benefits (it works against the formation of blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes) it may also cause bruises to worsen (due to the blood not clotting properly under the skin) and other complications. Also other NSAID’s raise the risk of heart disease in some people – researchers admit they don’t fully understand how NSAIDs work.
Natural Help for Pain Relief
Many natural and homeopathic remedies are formulated with ingredients to help all affected mechanisms in the body to ease pain effectively and soothe soreness. Here are some great natural alternatives to help you get back to enjoying life!
Arnica: This homeopathic ingredient has been used for centuries for its anti- inflammatory and pain reduction properties. Arnica (link to CobraZol page) also contains thymol (an essential oil), flavonoids, inulin, carotenoids, and tannins which stimulate blood circulation. Arnica stimulates the activity of white blood cells that perform much of the digestion of congested blood, and assists in dispersing trapped fluids from bruised tissue, joints, and muscle. Arnica has also shown to improve the health and conductivity of certain nerves and never endings.
Fish oil and Omega-3s: Fish oil can ease the inflammation and pain caused by many chronic conditions. The dose used in the most convincing research is 2 to 4 grams of DHA + EPA daily. Although beneficial omega-3 fatty acids are available from other sources, experts say that fish oil has the best evidence.
Omega-3s: This is recommended for those with chronic pain. They are shown to help with headaches, back pain, some nerve pain, and autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis. The pain relief derived from fish oil alone is not tremendous - but combining it with other pain supplements such as turmeric or ginger can boost the painkilling effects. Be sure to check with your doctor to make sure these combinations will work for you.
Capsaicin: Capsaicin comes from chili peppers and may soothe pain when applied to the skin. Topical capsaicin (link to CobraZol page) has shown to be helpful for all sorts of pain. Studies have found it can help relieve pain from rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, shingles, and diabetic neuropathy. It may also offer natural pain relief for back pain, fibromyalgia pain, and headaches.
Glucosamine Sulfate: In regards to joint pain, glucosamine supplements have some of the best data available. There is strong evidence that this supplement can help relieve osteoarthritis pain in the knee. Studies suggest that glucosamine not only eases the pain but also slows the progression of osteoarthritis. Glucosamine is often combined with chondroitin, which can have an additional benefit.
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane): This is a naturally occurring compound in some plants and animals, which has been shown in some preliminary research to reduce osteoarthritis pain. MSM supports healthy connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscles. One of the most significant uses of MSM as a supplement is its demonstrated ability to relieve pain and inflammation. Since MSM can restore flexibility and permeability to cell walls, fluids can pass through the tissues more easily. This helps equalize pressure and reduce or eliminate the cause of pain.
Other quick pain relief tips:
1. Certain foods can help to ease the pain. Try to eat avocados and bananas, garlic, peppers, and berries. Avoid citrus fruits, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, or wheat.
2. Pain can also appear due to dehydration. Make sure you drink 8 glasses of water each day.
3. Try meditation or deep breathing exercises to relieve chronic pain. Destressing in a hot bath with pure lavender (link to our pure lavender)and Epsom salts, also helps in relieving muscle and joint pain.