In 2016, opioid overdoses accounted for over 42,000 deaths. About 40% of the deaths involved a prescription opioid.
Opioid use, even for a short time, may cause addiction, which often leads to overdose. If you have a headache, toothache, or any other pain, your first thought will be to buy pain medication.
Though some situations will call for the prescription of OTC pain medication, there are natural pain relief methods.
Most spices and herbs have a long history of relieving inflammation and pain. Natural pain relievers fall under a category of treatment we call alternative medicine.
Are you dealing with pain and looking for natural ways to relieve pain? Keep reading to know the seven natural methods for pain relief to try at home.
- Synthetic and Medical Cannabis
When we talk about medical cannabis, we refer to the unprocessed plant or its extracts. Medical cannabis has approval from the U.S. FDA as a safe and effective treatment for these two conditions:
The drug Epidiolex – treats severe forms of epilepsy; no other drugs have control of it. The drug has a purified form of CBD.
The drugs dronabinol and nabilone – both medications are synthetic THC cannabinoids. The medications increase appetite for people living with HIV and reduce nausea for cancer patients.
We also refer to drugs like K2 and Spice as synthetic cannabis. But, the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) says these are not cannabis – they aren’t safe and do not recommend for any purpose.
The adverse effects of such drugs can be fatal. Synthetic cannabis often attempts to duplicate the ingredients’ effect in the natural plant.
We often use cannabis to treat chronic pain. Go here to get more information on how to get cannabis pain-relieving treatment.
We use cloves to spice up rice and meat dishes. We also use ground cloves in pies and other types of foods.
You can use cloves for herbal pain relief. They have eugenol content, a natural pain reliever also used in various OTC pain rubs.
You can find cloves in capsule or powder form. Also, you may apply the clove oil topically to reduce pain. Some issues cloves treat are headaches, toothaches, diarrhea, and arthritic inflammation.
Some studies reveal that clove can treat fungal infections. But, we need some more advanced studies on humans.
Though you can apply clove topically to treat toothache pains, undiluted clove oil might hurt your gums. Ensure you speak to a dentist first before trying clove at home.
- Heat and Ice
Applying heat and ice is the most common method of reducing pain at home. We often directly apply some heat or ice at the site of pain.
Though the method seems clear, not everyone knows when to use heat versus ice. Applying ice packs reduces swelling and inflammation immediately. Use it after experiencing a strained tendon, muscle, or ligament.
After the inflammation decreases, you can use heat to reduce the stiffness experienced after sprains and strains. You can also use a cold pack or heating pad briefly on your head to reduce headaches.
An ice pack will also help relieve your low back pain. If you are experiencing arthritis, use moist heat on the affected joints.
Turmeric has a signature yellow hue and a unique flavor. The herb contains the compound curcumin, an antioxidant.
Curcumin protects your body against free radical molecules that may damage cells. Also, according to different studies, turmeric can ease swelling and reduce inflammations.
Though we commonly use it as a spice, you can get turmeric in supplement form. Turmeric often treats ulcers, ingestion, inflammation, psoriasis, and stomach upsets.
Though we consider turmeric safe, there are few side effects you can expect from its use. The common ones include rashes, nausea, diarrhea, and yellow stool.
Before using a turmeric supplement, ensure you speak to a doctor. Also, stop using them immediately after you begin experiencing negative side effects.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical practice. The treatment often seeks to relieve body pain by balancing the body’s natural energy pathways.
We know the energy flow as qi (often pronounced as “chee”). The acupuncturist inserts tiny thin needles into the patient’s skin.
The insertion points are at the source of the pain. Based on your qi, they may insert the needle far from the area experiencing pain.
Acupuncture relieves pain by making the body release serotonin, which is a feel-good brain chemical easing pain. People also believe the procedure reduces stress levels and promotes healing.
- Meditate and Relax
There are various meditation techniques; some are complex and others simple. A common technique is to find a pleasing sound that might or might not have meaning. (i.e., “som”).
Then, close your eyes, sit comfortably still, and repeat the sound in your brain. When you notice your thoughts wandering, return to your sound.
Once you begin feeling your pain, notice it and return to your sound. You should first begin meditation with a few minutes and lengthen the time when you start enjoying it.
- Massage Therapy
A therapeutic massage will spur blood flow, reduce muscle tension, and boost feelings of wellness. Massage therapy manipulates soft tissues, tendons, ligaments, and muscles.
But, there is no record of how much the therapy will reduce pain or which therapy is best for a specific pain. You may need a few different sessions to know which one works best.
Try Out Natural Pain Relief Techniques
Consider the above natural pain relief ideas in your journey of managing chronic pain. Note that the methods may be effective for specific pains and might not work for everyone.
But, these natural options give you a few more pain relief options to try. You can try them alone or pair them with prescription or OTC medications.
Pain in your body indicates that there is something wrong. So, if the pain persists, ensure you see a doctor.
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