If you suffer from muscle or joint pain you know how much it can impact your life. From not being able to play active sports to missing out on family fun – the effects can be far-reaching and upsetting. So, its natural that we search for pain remedies.
Almost everyone is familiar with pain relief formulas. Over 30 billion over-the- counter tablets and 70 million prescriptions are sold annually just in the USA. Known as ‘Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs’ (NSAIDs), a few commonly known names include Aspirin, Ibuprofin, Advil, and Motrin as well as prescription products like Celebrex and Vioxx. What most people might not know is that over 16,000 Americans die from NSAIDs a year and approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for NSAID related gastrointestinal complications.(1)
There is an alternative. Natural pain relief therapies can decrease inflammation and help repair tissues. The following are some starting points for investigating natural solutions further:
1. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night: During the deeper stages of sleep the human body produces growth hormone, which results in tissue healing and repair. Inadequate amounts of sleep contribute to pain. Natural sleep remedies that can help you get a deep and restorative sleep are Melatonin, Hydroxy L- tryptophan (5-HTP), Calcium, Mangesium and colloidal gold. You can also listen to relaxing music – try searching on itunes for ocean sounds.
2. Take a green-lipped mussel oil supplement: If you suffer from pain, swelling or other symptoms commonly associated with arthritis, you may benefit from taking green-lipped mussel oil from New Zealand. In a clinical trial conducted at the Glasgow Homeopathic Hospital in Glasgow, UK, preparations of green-lipped mussel extract were shown to benefit 76 percent of rheumatoid arthritis patients and 70 percent of osteoarthritic patients (2) The omega-3s contained in green-lipped mussel oils (more potent than fish oils) cannot be manufactured by our body and decrease inflammation. The EPA and DHA essential fatty acids have been so effective that some people have been able to discontinue their use of other medications altogether.
3. Take MSM, or “organic sulphur”. It can lessen inflammation, pain, and stiffness due to arthritis, muscle, or back pain and helps to balance the blood chemistry in these conditions. MSM helps supply the sulfur amino acids needed for healing.
4. Massage a blend of essential oils of arnica, Calendula and St John’s work into the affected painful area. Applying essential oils directly on the area nourishes cells and enables the body to metabolize waste and heal injuries more quickly. Herb Pharm makes a a blend called “Trauma Oil” which is very effective. Essential oils can help relax tense muscles and improve circulation.
5. Eat a whole food, mineral rich diet with plenty of vegetables and whole grains. Vegetable juices and green chlorophyll-rich foods can help relieve muscle inflammations by promoting the elimination of toxins from the body. Cut back on the amount of meat containing large amounts of saturated fat, which impacts the effective functioning of the liver – possibly leading to inflammation and irritation. Animal fats also contain arachadonic acid which can stimulate inflammation.
6. Take Glucosamine sulfate: Glucosamine is a naturally occurring element in the body that plays a crucial role in the building and healing of cartilage. Glucosamine may be efficient in treating and even delaying the progression of osteoarthritis. Some studies have hinted that glucosamine may be as effective as NSAIDs in treating joint conditions, while having fewer gastrointestinal side effects.
7. Magnetic therapy: Magnetic therapy is a safe method of applying magnetic fields to the body for therapeutic purposes. It helps speed the healing process and improve quality of sleep without any adverse side effects. A study from the University of Virginia showed that that a magnetic field of moderate strength can result in significant reduction of swelling when applied immediately after an inflammatory injury. Dilation of blood vessels is a major cause of swelling, and it’s thought that the magnets worked by limiting blood flow to the affected area. Individuals wearing magnetic jewelry have reported diminished muscle soreness and lessening of cramps. Try sleeping on a magnet mattress pad to help ease the pain of muscle soreness or apply magnet straps to sore muscle or tendonitis areas.
8. Take Vitamin D: Researched conducted by the University of Minnesota found that 93% of all subjects with non-specific musculoskeletal pain were vitamin D deficient. Taking Vitamin D and CoQ10 can help alleviate muscle pain caused by cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. Vitamin D can also be synthesized naturally by the body upon exposure to sunlight.
9. Cayenne pepper:A teaspoon of cayenne shaken in 2 ounces of olive oil can be used as an ointment and rubbed directly into sore muscles. Cayenne contains capsaicin which eventually inhibits secretion of the neurotransmitter Substance P, that transmits pain to the brain, lessening muscle soreness, sprains and cramps.
10. Try an Epsom salt bath: The magnesium sulfate of Epsom Salt acts as a muscle relaxant, and by easing muscle pain it helps the body to eliminate harmful substances. Due to changes in agriculture in the past century, most Americans are deficient in Magnesium. Studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Fill a bathtub with water as hot as you can stand. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts. The heat of the bath will increase circulation and reduce inflammation.'