Using Natural Supplements for Chronic Pain Relief

natural supplements for chronic pain reliefNatural supplements for chronic pain relief can work very well alongside conventional medicine. Patients are increasingly looking for natural analgesic remedies as tolerance for the side effects of prescribed medication lessens. There is an enormous amount of herbal, homeopathic and other natural pain supplements available, though not all can be taken alongside prescribed medication, so seeking advice from a medical practitioner is essential.

Natural supplements may be available as a single dose or taken as a combination dose when used in the long-term treatment of chronic pain. Effective supplements may even reduce the need for some medication.

Inflammatory related chronic pain may be alleviated by the use of bromelain, a plant based protein derived from pineapple. This should be taken on an empty stomach.

Chamomile, devils claw, Echinacea and calendula are all herbal supplements known for anti-inflammatory reducing properties. Turmeric, often used as a curry spice, has been a huge success in pain treatment, resulting in some patients dispensing with NSAIDs altogether.

Fish Oils are Natural supplements for Chronic Pain Relief

Fish oils and green-lipped mussel extracts have also been used very successfully, providing beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, and can be combined well with other supplements.

Low levels of Vitamin D have been linked to increased levels of chronic pain suffering. A medical practitioner can check levels of this vitamin in patients and if below 50 to 70 nanograms/milliliter, a supplement may be recommended.

Glucosamine sulfate, present in animal bones, bone marrow and the shells of shellfish, has been highly efficient in reducing joint pain. It can be combined with chondroitin, found in cartilage, and  MSM, an organosulfor compound found in some plants and food. These can also be used separately.

Other Natural supplements for Chronic Pain Relief

Other natural pain relievers include butterbur, meadowsweet, California poppy and wild yam, all of plant origin. White willow bark contains a similar chemical composition to aspirin so the two should never be taken together – it can, however, be effective when taken with other remedies.

Supplementing the diet with magnesium may help with pain caused by muscle spasms and migraines. This can also be derived from sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. The nutrient, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, can help with nerve pain.

Homeopathic medicine has been around for over 2,000 years. A wide variety of homeopathic remedies can treat pain created by different conditions. Some medical practitioners are also qualified as homeopathic practitioners and can advise which remedies are suitable.

Rhus Toxicodendron (poison ivy) can treat lower back pain, while Gnaphalium (from the Asteraceae plant family) is used for pain caused by sciatica. Though naturally derived, it can be dangerous to use many of the homeopathic medicines without supervision.

When dealing with chronic pain, it is essential to keep an open mind about using natural supplements for chronic pain relief. A combination of conventional medicine and natural supplements may diminish or even eradicate chronic pain suffering.

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Relieve Chronic Pain with Gels and Creams

 

natural pain reliefTopical pain relief comes in four basic types –counter irritants, non-steroidal anti- inflammatories, analgesics and capsaicin (chili-pepper extract). Available in gels and creams, lotions, sprays and rubs, each type works in a different way to ease pain. There are many over counter topical applications while NSAID creams are prescription only.

Counter-Irritant Pain Relief

Counter irritants cause a hot or cold sensation on the skin providing temporary soothing for pain. Often containing menthol, camphor or eucalyptus oil, by producing these heating or cooling sensations they override the ability to feel pain. Products such as Biofreeze use menthol and the herb ilex paraguariensis, a member of the holly family, which possesses anti-inflammatory properties.

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory creams and gels contain the same ingredients found in some oral NSAIDs. They work more quickly than oral versions by quickly entering the bloodstream through the skin to reach targeted areas.

Diclofenac is present in Voltaren gel and the liquid Pennsaid. Diclofenac can cause gastrointestinal problems when taken orally, so the topical version is hugely beneficial to those who suffer from these side effects. Ibuprofen gel, such as IbucreamÔ is another NSAID skin gel.

Analgesic Gels and Creams

Analgesic preparations are aspirin-like products, containing salicylate. Absorbed by the skin they work quickly to reduce pain. Products such as Aspercreme contain salicylate, while Ben-Gay containing the counter-irritant methyl salicylate found in wintergreen oil, metabolizes into salicylic acid after penetrating the skin.

Chili-Pepper Extracts

Capsaicin, the extract from hot chili peppers, causes a tingling heating sensation when applied to the skin and works by depleting nerve cells of a chemical that sends pain messages. Regular use of these creams will reduce pain. Products such as Axsain and Dolorac contain capsaicin extract and it is found in many creams designed to relieve pain from sporting injuries.

Herbs and Essential Oils

Natural substances found in herbs, homeopathic remedies and essential oils may also be used in topical pain relieving products.

Arnica Montana, primarily used for muscle problems, can also relieve pain caused by arthritis and reduce swelling and tenderness.

Topricin is another arnica -based product that also contains the healing properties of the homeopathic and herbal remedies Rhus Toxicodendron, Graphites and Heloderma amongst others.

Menthol, derived from mint, is already contained in many counter-irritant creams.

Oils derived from ginger, cinnamon, black pepper can relieve the pain caused by arthritis by creating a heating effect through the skin, whilst lavender oil and sweet marjoram affect the nervous system by producing a sedative effect.

Sandalwood oil is known to relieve the pain caused by sciatica whilst chamomile oil is a natural anti-inflammatory. While essential oils are natural products, it is wise to consult a qualified practitioner who will give advice regarding safe quantities to use and will be able to make useful combinations of oils to treat specific problems and relieve chronic pain.

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Pain Management Program

pain management plan

Pain management program can be set up after the initial visit to the pain management clinic. After the appropriate tests and examinations have been made to ascertain the cause of chronic pain, the next step is to create an individualized pain … [Continue reading]