It is easy to reflexively reach for that Ibuprofen or Tylenol bottle when any type of physical pain strikes, but unfortunately all of these medications have short and long term risks and side effects. Here are 6 ways to try to decrease your risks associated with pharmaceutical pain killers while also alleviating your pain, whether it’s acute or chronic:
1. Hydration– an important part of healing is ensuring that you are well hydrated. Fluids with electrolytes such as coconut water (all natural no added sugar), will hydrate the best. The power of hydration is highly underrated:
- Most causes of headaches and migraines are due to dehydration
- Dehydrated muscles result in spasms and cramping which can manifest as back pain, leg pain etc.
2. Capsaicin- usually in the form of a cream – is made out of chili peppers, when applied to site of pain can help reduce pain at the site locally: capsaicin cream has been approved for the treatment of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal pain.
3. Yoga- both the physical and spiritual aspects of yoga work synergistically to help in the pain relief process; breathing exercises help alleviate stress which in turn helps alleviate pain. The movement in yoga can help strengthen, stretch and loosen tight muscles that may be causing pain.
4.Pilates- developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920’s to help war veterans regain posture, balance and strength is now a form of physical exercise practiced worldwide. Pilates helps strengthen the core, develop flexibility, improve posture and elongate the muscles which translates into less musculoskeletal pain and improved physical well being.
5.Turmeric – is a powerful spice that can help decrease inflammation – which is the foundation of disease. Turmeric can be used in conditions such as arthritis, bowel disorders, swelling from injury to help decrease inflammation and swelling which in turn decreases the pain and can help increase mobility.
6.Hypnosis – One of the most powerful tools that can help not only alleviate pain but help change your brain wiring. Hypnosis works by stimulating the subconscious mind and allows deep relaxation and can also lead to decreased perception of pain
Not all of these remedies work for everyone: I encourage you to try a few out and see what works best for you.
** Prior to starting an exercise regimen or supplements please consult with your Integrative Practitioner to ensure it is safe to do so