Natural Pain Relief
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OVER-THE-COUNTER PAIN MEDICINES
Vioxx, a popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and pain reliever was recalled after an estimated 89,000 to 140,000 people died from its use in the US alone. Shortly after the recall, the FDA issued additional warnings for NSAIDs, including Ibuprofen (Advil), and Naproxen (Aleve) to make it clear of the potential for increased cardiovascular risks and gastrointestinal bleeding. It is also widely know that long term use of NSAIDS, like Ibuprofen and Naproxen can cause ulcers, potentially fatal gastric bleeding and increased risk of heart attack.
Tylenol (acetaminophen) (not an NSAID) is one of the most common causes of over the counter drug poisoning in the US according to the American Association of Poison Control Centers. Tylenol is also one of the leading causes of liver toxicity and drug induced liver failure. And when used long term, both Tylenol and Ibuprofen can greatly increase the risk of hypertension.
NATURAL SOLUTIONS TO ELIMINATE PAIN
1. Use vitamins & minerals instead of NSAIDS
MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) – MSM is organic sulfur which is known to inhibit pain impulses that travel along nerve fibers, acting as an analgesic. MSM also acts as a natural anti-inflammatory. MSM is often used for combating the symptoms of arthritis, fibromyalgia, back pain from herniated discs, headaches and more. In addition, MSM may reduce muscle spasms, increase blood flow & contribute to the maintenance & repair of cartilage.
Digestive Enzymes – While digestive enzymes taken with food are completely dedicated to the digestive process, digestive enzymes taken on an empty stomach have been shown to reduce pain, swelling and redness associated with inflammatory conditions. Safe and natural, digestive enzymes offer an alternative to NSAIDs.
Calcium/Magnesium – calcium is a mineral that facilitates the movement of nutrients across cell membranes. Calcium also helps nerve cells to communicate normally and aids in muscle contractions. Magnesium is known to reduce a pain transmitter in the nervous system called Substance P. Magnesium is also critical for energy production and proper nerve function. It is also know to promote muscle relaxation and help the body produce and use insulin. Like calcium (often paired with magnesium), magnesium is involved in the formation of bones and teeth, the clotting of blood and the regulation of heart rhythm. Magnesium is often used to treat such ailments such as chronic back pain, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, muscle cramps and even migraine headaches.
Bromelain – bromelain is an anti-inflammatory agent that is helpful in healing minor injuries, particularly sprains and strains, muscle injuries, and the pain, swelling, and tenderness that accompany sports injuries.
Glucosamine & Chondroitin Sulfate – glucosamine & chondroitin sulfate can play a major role in the treatment of pain by actually repairing and rebuilding the protective cartilage in the joints.
Most people in pain avoid exercise because they are afraid it will exacerbate or make their pain worse. However, studies have found that non-strenuous exercises such as walking and swimming can actually reduce pain. Why? Because, when you exercise chemicals called endorphins are released into your body. Endorphins are the body’s natural internal pain regulators (the body’s natural way of making pain tolerable). When you experience pain and when you exercise, your body releases endorphins. These endorphins interact with your brain to reduce the pain you experience. Natural endorphins interact with the same parts of the brain as pain relieving drugs like morphine.
3. Physical Treatment
Active Release Technique – Active Release Technique (ART) is a patented, state of the art, soft tissue, movement-based massage technique that has been proven to effectively treat overuse problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. It has been successfully used to treat headaches, back pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, shin splints, shoulder pain, sciatica, plantar fasciitis, knee problems, tennis elbow as well as numerous other conditions. Most conditions are resolved quickly and permanently with the use of Active Release Technique®.
Chiropractic Adjustment – Chiropractic is the science of locating areas of joint dysfunction and restriction combined with the art of correcting the dysfunction. Trauma (i.e. car accidents and falls), lifting incorrectly, physical activity, and stress can all impact your joints negatively. When a joint loses its normal position or motion, this can put pressure on your nervous system which can lead to pain. Correcting joint dysfunction allows you to perform at optimal levels without pain. Chiropractic adjustment has also been shown to relax the muscles surrounding that joint.
Trigger Point Massage – Trigger points are taught nodules of muscle tissue that refer pain to other areas of the body when compressed. They develop due to continual muscle tension without sufficient rest. Focused firm pressure on the muscle tissue until it relaxes is effective at relieving associated pain.
Foam Rolling – this is the least expensive method to alleviate pain in the long muscles of your body (muscles such as the hamstring, quads, adductors, and calves). Foam Rolling is an easy to learn technique that can be done at home and that is effective at treating and preventing injuries.
Visit our office for advice specific to your problem/concern and for additional natural ways to eliminate your pain.
 Jacob SW, et al. The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 1999:57-58.cols/appendix/otc_toxicity_01.htm
 Jacob SW, et al. The Miracle of MSM: The Natural Solution for Pain. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; 1999:57-58.
 Morton JI, Siegel BV. Effects of oral dimethyl sulfoxide and dimethyl sulfone on murine autoimmune lymphoproliferative disease. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med 1986;183:227–30.
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