We all experience pain every now and then, some of us more frequently. Do you reach for Tylenol or Advil when pain occurs? Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen are okay for short term solutions, but they are recommended for 4 consecutive days or less. I personally try not to take an over the counter medication unless it’s absolutely necessary.
There are lot’s of options for chronic pain relief and inflammation that are natural or herbal. Taken orally magnesium (250-550 mg/day), Boswellia (300 mg 3 x day) and Ginger Extract (2-4 x day) are good solutions. Turmeric, Devil’s Claw Root, Bitterbur, Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids and Melatonin can all work as well. Some topical solutions include CBD, Capsaicin/Capsicum, Camphor, Menthol, Comfrey and Willow Bark (contains asprin). Natural solution have few if any side effects and there is a growing body of research that supports there effectiveness. The down side is that they’re not a controlled substances, so the preparations can vary. They often require days to be effective and they may be condition-specific.
There are physical treatments that are good for acute pain, healing from an injury and various chronic pain conditions. These include massage, ice, heat, yoga & stretching, foam roller, Chiropractor, mechanical tape, low level laser therapy, ultrasound, TENS, trigger point devices, weighted blankets, orthotics, physical and occupational therapy and acupuncture. Many of these can be combined for great results and it may be a bit of experimentation to find the treatments that resonate with you. With a variety of options you can fit them into your budget and lifestyle and they are all non-invasive and non-addictive.
And last of all there are many mind body solutions such as meditation, support groups, personal faith practices, music, cooking, dancing, hiking, games, progressive muscle relaxation, cognitive reframing, deep breathing, aromatherapy and guided imagery that work with chronic and acute pain especially when used in combination with other treatments. They can provide distractions, foster your support systems and can be more effective than traditional therapy for some types of chronic pain when you can make a disciplined mental shift in thinking about your pain.
Certainly not all of these treatments and supplements will be the solution for all types of pain, but when you’re looking to think beyond Acetaminophen and Ibuprofen give some of these a try.