Millions of Americans suffer from chronic back pain, arthritis, and other maladies. If used properly, many prescription pain pills, and yes, even marijuana may provide effective and long-lasting relief. But for various reasons, these options are not always available.
Luckily, there are a number of alternative remedies that can do the trick. These treatments are based on solid scientific evidence and not old wives’ tales.
This ointment is available almost everywhere and very effective at reducing shingles pain along with other surface discomforts.
When synthesized into a topical cream, capsaicin, one of the chili pepper’s active ingredients, disables C-fibers for up to five weeks, significantly reducing pain sensation during that time. Capsaicin cream is effective against all types of surface pain, and some migraine patients report that applying a dab to the inside of their nostrils relieves headache discomfort too. It may take at least two weeks of daily treatments to see results, and furthermore, capsaicin cream is more well-suited for sudden and serious flare-ups as opposed to everyday discomfort.
Scientists really are not sure why this European flower extract is so effective against acute pain, but it is. Many doctors say that arnica has helped patients recovering from both tonsillectomies and knee surgeries. Furthermore, as a topical remedy, the substance is also effective in bruises and sore muscles.
This supplement contains ginger, holy basil, and most importantly, turmeric. The curcumin in turmeric is a bona fide anti-inflammatory, so this supplement is often very effective against some forms of arthritis pain.
Chinese medicine has used turmeric for generations to reduce inflammation and discomfort in arthritis patients, and while there may be a substantial placebo effect, there is also evidence that the substance is effective against osteoarthritis, especially in the knees and especially if the disease is in its early stages. There is also evidence that turmeric is effective against rheumatoid arthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease, but the data is less convincing.
Like all other supplements, patients should take Zyflamend/InflaThera at certain times of day and with certain foods for best results, so consider purchasing a portable and discrete case to sort your supplements and stay on track.
This seaweed extract is another good anti-osteoarthritis supplement, mostly because it has high levels of bone-building magnesium and calcium that are very easy for the body to absorb. These chemicals also significantly reduce joint inflammation. In fact, in one study, Aquamin patients experienced 20 percent less pain as well as an enhanced range of motion.
SAM-e, an amino acid extract, has some anti-inflammatory properties as well. Moreover, this supplement also spurs dopamine and serotonin production, giving patients an enhanced sense of well-being. Like most dietary supplements and natural remedies, SAM-e requires several weeks to begin working effectively. But the results (50 percent pain reduction in one study) are normally worth the wait.
The effects on the brain make SAM-e quite effective in many depressed patients as well.
In addition to osteoarthritis pain, prostaglandins are also effective against lupus and many other autoimmune disorders.
In terms of sheer quality, these dietary supplements have improved quite a bit in recent years. They have more fish oil and fewer fillers; additionally, they are a little faster-acting than before. So, many people who have tried fish oil previously and not experienced the hoped-for results should probably give prostaglandins a second chance. In one recent study, almost two-thirds of fish oil patients either drastically reduced their pain medicine intake or stopped taking it altogether, after about two months.
Talk about an easy remedy. The next time you experience a brief but intense flare-up, such as “needle stick” pain, count backward starting from 100. In one study, Japanese doctors evaluated forty-six patients who counted backward after such an experience. After finishing, none of them complained of the pain, and all but one forgot about the pain altogether. Researchers speculate that the amount of pain relief may be tied to the level of concentration, which means that other mental distractions, such as lists of state capitals, might be effective as well.
Many times, the best pain relief tools aren’t in the pharmacy aisle, so try one or more for yourself and see what happens.