4 Natural Pain Relievers

natural pain relievers

4 Natural Pain Relievers

Living with chronic pain can be emotionally and physically exhausting, as your symptoms never seem to take time off.

 

By now, you’ve likely tried all sorts of treatments—but you may not have considered these four little-known natural pain relievers:

 

1. Spur the release of your endorphins

Endorphins are pain-inhibiting hormones that are naturally produced by your body. Endorphins inhibit pain by binding to the opioid receptors in your brain, and they work similar to opioid pain medications like oxycodone or morphine.

Any activity that raises your heart rate for an extended period will spur the release of pain-relieving endorphins into your system. But this raises an obvious problem: how do you exercise if you’re in so much pain? The solution may be to pick a water-based exercise or to get help from the right type of health professional—such as a physiatrist, chiropractor, or physical therapist.

 

2. Take a warm soak

Soaking your body in warm water can help relieve muscle discomfort and many types of arthritis pain. There are numerous options for a warm soak, including a bathtub, whirlpool tub, or a warm pool. Some people find that essential oils or Epsom salts improve the muscle-relaxation benefits associated with a warm soak.

The temperature of your water should be warm and pleasant—especially before bed. Hot water can make it hard to fall asleep by raising the temperature of your body.

If a soak isn’t for you, there are plenty of other heat therapy options for your pain. Try applying an electric blanket or using an adhesive back wrap that provides low-level heat over several hours.

 

3. Keep hydrated

Most people know that drinking plenty of water throughout the day is good for your overall health. But did you know that it may also help with your chronic pain? Drinking enough water can alleviate stiffness, and it also supports your blood flow—which enables healing nutrients and oxygen to reach the various structures of your body. In addition, water helps to flush toxins out of your muscles and other soft tissues, and as a bonus, it can prevent constipation (a side effect of many pain medications).

As a general rule, women need roughly 2 liters of water per day, while men need 3 liters.

 

4. Ease your chronic pain with ice

Ice and/or a cold gel pack can alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and slowing down your nerve impulses. A great option for cold therapy is an ice massage, which may provide additional relief through the manipulation of your soft tissue.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Begin by freezing water in a paper cup overnight. Once the ice has hardened, you can peel away the top inch of the cup to expose the ice.
  • Lie on your side, and apply the ice in a 6-inch radius around the location of your pain. You can also lie on your stomach and have a partner apply the ice for you.
  • Make sure to limit your ice massage to 5 minutes to avoid possible ice burns.

All of the above natural pain relievers are not prescriptive. Instead, they are intended as options for you to consider as you work in tandem with your doctor to manage your chronic pain.

No single treatment option works for everyone, but try one of the above options today and you might find significant relief from your chronic pain.

 

Originally published on Spine Health


 

If you would like more information about how we can help you with your Chronic Pain issues, please contact us today!

Xcell Medical Group

440-328-8487


top 6 foods to avoid with osteoarthritis

Diet & Osteoarthritis: 6 Foods to Avoid

Diet & osteoarthritis

 

Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the cushion of cartilage between your joints breaks down and wears away. It can cause severe joint pain and swelling. 

Osteoarthritis (OA) is an inflammatory condition. Its symptoms can be aggravated by eating foods that contribute to inflammation in the body. Avoiding certain foods could help you to avoid triggering OA flare-ups.

 

 

We’ll explore six foods to avoid when you have osteoarthritis.

1. Sugar

sugary foods osteoarthritis avoidSugar-rich carbohydrates, such as processed cakes, cookies, and bakery items, may actually change your body’s immune response to disease according to one study. This reaction can worsen inflammation and leave your strained joints feeling even weaker.

Natural substitutes such as pure maple syrup and honey may appease your sweet tooth without contributing to arthritis symptoms. 

 

 

2. Salt

salt osteoarthritis avoidEating too much salt (sodium) causes your cells to retain water. This means that they swell up.

Your body does need sodium to function. However, eating too much leads to an inflammatory reaction. This can contribute to joint damage.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most Americans consume too much sodium daily. To cut back on sodium, try swapping out your salt for other spices, like lemon zest, or flavored peppers, like garlic pepper, to enhance your food.

 

3. Fried food

fried foods osteoarthritis avoidThe Arthritis Foundation points out that foods high in saturated fats, such as french fries and donuts, can increase inflammation in the body and make arthritis pain worse.

The chemical reaction in your body caused by the oils used to fry food can raise your cholesterol, too.

Stick with foods that are baked without any oil additives. When you need to use oil to cook with, opt for a small amount of olive or avocado oil instead.

 

4. White flour

white flour osteoarthritis avoidRefined wheat products, like white bread, stimulate your body’s inflammatory response. That’s why eating a lot of refined pastas, cereals, and grain products might make your arthritis pain flare up.

To avoid this, choose whole grains whenever possible. Avoid bread products that have been heavily processed. Gluten-containing whole grains and yeast additives may also impact arthritis pain.

 

 

5. Omega-6 fatty acids

white flour osteoarthritis avoidAccording to the Harvard Medical School, you should limit your intake of foods containing omega-6 fatty acids, such as egg yolks and red meat. Saturated fats may increase levels of inflammation in the body, making arthritis pain worse.

Eating foods rich in omega-3s, such as salmon, almonds, and beans, will give you the protein you need without worsening your OA symptoms.

 

 

6. Dairy

dairy products osteoarthritis avoidDairy products are believed to cause inflammation in some people, and that triggers arthritis pain. A study found that people with arthritis who avoided animal milks experienced a significant improvement in their symptoms.

Substitute dairy with a healthy source of fats, like almond milk, or an anti-inflammatory, like flax milk. Make sure to avoid carrageenan in these milks, which is an additive derived from seaweed that can cause gastrointestinal symptoms and weaken intestinal permeability.

 

 

Osteoarthritis and alcohol

Most experts discourage drinking alcohol to excess when you have osteoarthritis. Drinking alcohol, especially beer, can contribute to flare-ups because of high purine levels in commercial alcohol products.

Moreover, most arthritis medication should never be mixed with alcohol because it interacts with the effectiveness of the drug and can be dangerous.

 

Takeaway

Foods that people with osteoarthritis should avoid also happen to be foods that interfere with a healthy diet.

Limiting these foods can benefit your arthritis in two ways. First, it reduces levels of inflammation in your body. Second, it may help you lose a bit of weight.

Even small incremental weight loss can make a difference in arthritis symptom severity. Speak to your doctor about how your diet might be affecting your arthritis symptoms.

 

Original article on Healthline

 


 

You don’t have to suffer from osteoarthritis pain! Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation to see how we can help you!

Xcell Medical Group

440-328-8487


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