Practitioner Blog

A Natural Approach to Managing Pain

Pain is one of the most common reasons that people turn to integrative medicine for treatment. Pharmaceutical drugs are not the only solution to pain management. There are many natural remedies that are effective in dealing with chronic pain. Living with pain is avoidable through the use of natural remedies. Pain that can be managed includes, but is not limited to: lower back pain, fibromyalgia, neck aches, migraines, joint pain, nerve pain, menstrual cramps, and osteoarthritis. Which natural remedy is the best choice depends on the type of pain.

Here are five suggestions to managing pain through the use of natural supplements:

Anti-inflammatory plants and herbs
Inflammation is one of the most common contributors to chronic pain, aggravating conditions including: back pain, osteoarthritis, and migraines. Traditional drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen are known as NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), which work to treat pain by blocking the enzymes that trigger swelling and cause discomfort. There are many natural plants and herbs that accomplish this same task. Turmeric, green tea, ginger, willow bark and wintergreen are all examples of natural plants and herbs that can be taken as part of a pain management plan. 

Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency has recently been linked to chronic pain. Undiagnosed, vitamin D deficiency can lead chronic pain suffers to taking up to twice as much pharmaceutical medication to manage their pain. Because vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium and maintain health, a deficiency can lead to chronic pain such as joint and bone pain and osteoarthritis. Correcting the balance of vitamin D within the body can result in a reduction, or possible elimination, of the need to turn to NSAIDs to manage pain

Glucosamine sulphate
One of the most successful natural supplements for treating joint pain is glucosamine sulphate. Not only does this supplement work to alleviate pain, it can actually help to slow down the advancement of osteoarthritis by rebuilding the articular cartilage within the knee.

Magnesium is a mineral that regulates a variety of biochemical reactions in the body. It builds bone structure, transports calcium throughout the body and helps muscles to relax. Today, many people are magnesium deficient, especially those that drink alcohol regularly or have a poor diet. Addressing a magnesium deficiency can greatly improve feelings of chronic pain. Balancing magnesium levels can help with migraines, tension headaches, muscle spasms, muscle strains, menstrual cramps, and fibromyalgia.

Omega-3 fish oils
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining health. Unfortunately, the human body does not self produce them and needs external sources to satisfy the requirements. One of these sources is fish oil. Headaches, back pain, autoimmune disorders, and nerve pain are all examples of conditions that can be alleviated through ingesting omega-3 fish oils.  These oils ease inflammation, thereby reducing the associated pain. Omega-3 fish oils have the benefit of little to no side effects, and many who use these supplements for pain find that they no longer need to rely on NSAIDs to manage their pain.

The benefits to choosing a natural supplement to dealing with pain include:

  • Decreased pain
  • Improved quality of life
  • Less severe side effects than traditional pain medication
  • Reduced need for surgery

Natural supplements are safer and can be just as effective as pharmaceutical drugs.  Natural supplements work to restore and repair the body, eventually reducing and even eliminating constant feelings of pain. They can also be complimented with traditional drugs when pain flares up and can be used in combination with an exercise and diet plan to manage chronic pain. An integrative approach to pain management is the best option. It is important to remember that natural supplements still pose a risk. In order to determine which natural supplements are best, it is essential to discuss it with a holistic expert, as each course of treatment will be unique to a person’s individual situation.