Got pain? Try one of these simple pain relief tips to help make you feel more like yourself and to learn what may make it worse.
It’s no surprise that many sufferers of chronic pain have a difficult time relaxing. With the cost of prescriptions as high as they are, and an array of pain relieving products on the market today, many people don’t know where to turn when they are hurting. However, treating pain doesn’t have to be confusing, and there are many remedies available that you can try right at home. Try working through the list of pain relief tips below.
Try herbal remedies
Look for foods and herbs that are high in Vitamin C and Flavonoids. Plums, citrus fruits, broccoli, and bell peppers are all high in both. If you’re a tea drinker, try brewing herbs into teas, like butcher’s broom, Oregon grape, rosemary, nettle, valerian or skullcap.
Lavender is great for relaxing your muscles, so brewing it into a tea or using it in oil for a massage is very therapeutic. For muscle pain or bruising, try topical remedies such as chamomile, mint or witch hazel. They help remove pain and eliminate bruising. Arthritis getting you down? Try Capsaicin, which can be found in chili peppers. For swelling, try ginger or turmeric, which both have natural anti-inflammatory properties.
Avoid hot and cold creams
These creams are marketed for muscle pain, but they are for superficial skin pain at best. These creams don’t penetrate the muscle, and while it may feel like you are getting relief, all they are doing is creating a chemical reaction that makes your skin feel warm or cool.
More importantly, never use these creams with a heating pad or with an ice compress. Doing so can cause burns and can sometimes even cause frostbite.
Using a heating pad can be counter-productive. It may feel great on your sore muscles, but the heat actually dilates your blood vessels, leading to more swelling, and more pain later. If swelling is high, try ice instead.
Trash your old mattress
It may seem obvious that your mattress isn’t helping your pain, but perhaps you aren’t aware of how much more damage it could be causing. A bad mattress could be throwing your spine out of alignment, putting stress on your joints, or adding unnecessary pressure to your most sensitive areas.
If your pain lies in your joints, spine, or in pressure points like the hips, back, shoulders, knees, or neck, consider going mattress shopping for something that’s easier on your body.
While exercise can be painful and feel like it’s making it worse, exercising regularly can actually help to alleviate pain in the long run. Working out tends to loosen your muscles, resulting in less stress on your bones and joints.
Additionally, the endorphins released during exercise can also help with emotional and hormonal imbalances, which will also aid in feeling better.
One of the best exercises for pain is swimming. It allows you to stretch out all of your muscles, and the cool water can help to reduce inflammation.
Keep in mind that regular exercise is important. Working out as sparingly as once a week can actually put additional stress on your body and increase the stress on your most sensitive areas. A regular exercise regimen, meaning a few times a week, is the safest and most effective.
If you’re just getting started, consider trying an exercise like gentle yoga that places less stress on the body. The benefits of stretching the muscles are just as essential as spiritual wellness.
Don’t overdo it on NSAIDs
While popping a few over the counter pain pills might help to reduce swelling and ease your pain, be careful of how many you take. Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, and Naproxen all have unique side effects, including digestive tract damage. Some can even contribute to liver and kidney damage.
Tylenol recently reduced its maximum dosage of Acetaminophen to avoid accidental overdose, for good reason. An overdose to any of these medications might not be immediately obvious. Slowly, your metabolic organs might start to decrease in peak function and could eventually fail completely. If you must take these medications, use them with caution, and read the labels carefully. Be sure to talk to your doctor about making NSAIDs a daily treatment. If you must take NSAIDs regularly, monitor your intake closely, especially if you’re taking other medications.
There are countless remedies for treating pain. Here are a few additional pain relief tips to consider:
- Learn to relax
- Drink more water
- Get and stay in shape
- Practice good posture
- Find a good masseuse
- Get plenty of sleep
- Stick to a schedule
For more information on home remedies, check out The Country Almanac of Home Remedies: Time-Tested & Almost Forgotten Wisdom for Treating Hundreds of Common Ailments, Aches & Pains Quickly and Naturally. You can find it on Amazon.
For great reading on chronic pain relief techniques, try reading 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back: Natural Posture Solutions for Pain in the Back, Neck, Shoulder, Hip, Knee, and Foot, also available on Amazon.