Natural Treatments for Chronic Pain
Health research suggests a whopping 39 million Americans suffer from some type of chronic pain. Medications may be an option, but new laws to reduce America's growing pain-killer addiction crisis mean you and your doctor will likely work to find other ways to address your pain. The good news ... natural treatments can also ease ongoing discomfort. The best options for natural pain management include:
Acupuncture is the traditional Chinese medicine technique of easing ailments by inserting thin needles into specific points in the body. Although scientists aren't exactly sure how it works, extensive research suggests acupuncture can be especially helpful in reducing back pain.
Yoga combines holding certain body postures and performing breathing exercises. Particularly effective at helping with low back or sciatica pain, yoga increases flexibility, improves posture and promotes relaxation.
The supplement industry is booming. But unlike medicine and food, the government doesn't regulate vitamins or supplements, so it's hard to know what you're getting and whether it's going to work.
If you're still interested in using natural supplements for pain relief, try ones with anti-inflammatory properties like omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) and turmeric. Omega-3s are naturally abundant in fish and fish oil and can lessen the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. Studies suggest that turmeric, a spice used in curry dishes, helps control arthritic knee pain as well as ibuprofen.
One of the best diets for reducing inflammation (the primary factor in pain) is the Mediterranean diet. The focus of the diet is whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes and seafood.
Eating a diet rich in nutrients and avoiding those that cause problems, such as sugar, red meat and simple carbohydrates can go a long way toward helping you feel better. If you need help making changes to your diet, we offer nutritional counseling.
If you or someone you love is dealing with chronic pain, contact our pain management specialists today. They can help you live a fuller, more active life.