Do You Need to Take Drugs for Pain?
When you hear about the “opioid epidemic”, you may not fully understand what that means. Opioids are prescribed pain relievers. So if you’ve ever taken Tylenol with Codeine or Percocet, you’ve taken an opioid.
America’s use of painkillers has become a serious problem because they are over-prescribed and highly addictive. In 2015, there were 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers.
And ALL pain relievers come with side effects. Yes, even over-the-counter ones.
Pain Reliever Side Effects
Here are some of the side effects that most people experience when they take pain medication:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Hormone imbalance
- Liver toxicity
- Weakened immune system
According to the CDC, “every day, over 1,000 people are treated in emergency departments for misusing prescription opioids”.
Natural Pain Relievers
Here are some natural alternatives to pharmaceutical and OTC pain medication:
- Eliminate refined carbohydrates – it’s important to remember that painful inflammation is the body’s response to toxins. Since most carbohydrates are highly inflammatory – and inflammation causes pain – eating refined carbs can make the pain worse.
- Eliminate refined sugar – increased insulin levels will increase the pain.
- Take an epsom salt bath – the magnesium in epsom salt helps relax strained muscles. Also Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy that is used to treat muscle aches and sore muscles.
- Use a heating pad/Ice pack – use heat to loosen tight muscles and ice to reduce inflammation (sometimes from an injury).
- Take curcumin/turmeric – curcumin is the key chemical in turmeric and studies have shown turmeric to have anti-inflammatory properties. Turmeric is often used to reduce pain and stiffness, especially when related to rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
- Take Omega-3s – shown to lessen joint pain and stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis and neck and back pain. It can also help with pain caused by inflammatory bowel disease and menstrual cramps.
- Seek chiropractic care – there are chiropractic techniques that are known to benefit those who live in pain. This includes people with carpal tunnel syndrome, shoulder pain, back pain, neck pain, headaches, arthritis and fibromyalgia.
- Acupuncture – is part of traditional Chinese medicine and is one of the oldest healing arts in the world. More and more, acupuncture is used for back and neck pain, osteoarthritis/knee pain, and headaches, including migraines.
- Physical therapy – used as a chronic pain treatment, “physical therapy can teach people how to move safely and functionally in ways that they haven’t been able to“.
- Get a massage – can increase blood flow to sore, stiff joints and muscles, which will alleviate pain.
- Use ginger essential oil – contains zingiberene and gingerols, which have potent anti-inflammatory properties.
- Use patchouli essential oil – can address internal inflammation and conditions such as arthritis and gout.
- Take boswellia – there are 16 different species, but it’s boswellia serrata that is effective in reducing inflammation. It’s known to ease symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as decrease the severity of back pain.
- Use frankincense essential oil – combine several drops with a carrier oil to massage into your muscles, joints, feet or neck because frankincense is known to improve circulation and lower symptoms of joint pain or muscle pain.
- Use birch essential oil – contains salicylic acid, which is the actually the same component in aspirin.
- Use copaiba essential oil – a go-to natural pain solution for hundreds of years, copaiba is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
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