You are not alone! Millions of Americans are plagued with chronic pain. Some studies say 1 in 2 adults are living with chronic pain that lasts somewhere from 3 months to several years. The most common is joint pain, followed by low back, head, nerve, and neck & shoulder pain.
Chronic pain wreaks havoc on the lifestyle, performance, and overall wellness at alarming rates in our families and communities. Chronic pain rarely has a single silver bullet solution. Instead, we see that implementation of multiple natural lifestyle-based solutions yields the best results in pain reduction.
Over the counter and prescription pain killers are wrought with side-effects and dangers affecting the lasting health of user. In addition, living with unaddressed pain comes with a whole host of health dangers such as high stress, chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, illness, to name a few. Implementing a variety of safe and natural pain relief practices is key to living a happier and healthier life! In other words, natural pain relief success is best addressed through a proactive lifestyle.
We highly encourage accessing additional support from a trained and certified practitioner that can advise and support your process. Acupuncture, craniosacral therapy, physical therapy, chiropractic care, integrative medicine, and myofascial work are excellent avenues to holistically support pain relief. And, definitely access regular massage. It is highly effective for keeping pain quelled.
Proper hydration is key for overall wellness. Period. Pain relief is no different. Dehydration exacerbates conditions that cause pain. Proper water intake helps to flush pain causing inflammation, cleanses the kidneys, flushes the lymphatic system, and improves mental function. Proper hydration helps transport vital nutrients to muscle, tissue, and organs. When your are in pain, your body needs you to be proactive about habits that provide relief. Hydration needs to be a priority.
We say this with love, but you MUST get up and get moving! Sitting for hours in front of the computer, glued to the screen, or in bed/on the couch will only hurt you. Yes, rest when you need to, but don't hide from life and activities that bring you joy. There are about 2,000 reasons to exercise and natural pain relief is definitely at the top of the list. Endorphins, circulation, attitude, posture support, strengthening, and connection to the outside world are all natural pain suppressants. Yoga, weight training, pilates, swimming, dance, tai chi, and working with a professional trainer are popular modalities for pain suppression.
Hurts so good! Foam rolling is one of the most pleasurable pains. Whether you are using a large foam roller or a smaller trigger point roller ball, manually targeting pain points is a highly effective form of pain relief. Stagnant tissue, contracted fascia, and poor circulation are pain culprits. If you can't get in for a massage, foam rolling is absolutely the next best thing and perfect at home care of your bodies unique needs.
Turmeric, fish oil, magnesium (epsom salt bath!), CBD products, vitamin C, cinnamon, and ginger are favorites in the natural healing community. Because pain is caused by inflammation, addressing it with internal supplementation can be beneficial. It is important, though, to combine supplements with lifestyle modifications as well!
Topical use of essential oils such as frankincense, peppermint, wintergreen, lavender, white fir, blue tansy, and eucalyptus is excellent for soothing pain.
An anti-inflammatory diet with whole foods will not only decrease the pain in your life, but it will likely give you an energy boost, improve your sleep, and help to promote optimal weight. Removing processed foods from your diet will cut down the inflammation. Simply removing excess grains, dairy, sugar, and soy from our diet helps to rid of toxicity and promotes natural detox. Add in lots of leafy greens, berries, vegetables, teas, and broths into your diet and experience the wonder of nutritional wellness and decreased pain. For some, eliminating, or cutting back, alcohol use is highly beneficial.
Having on-going physical pain is very difficult to say the least. It can be isolating and depressing. Combating chronic pain is a demanding experience. Join a support group that understands what you are going through and support your process. Get out with friends and family and do the activities that bring joy! Connection, laughter, love, community, and spirituality provide mental and emotional relief, which can be healing and comforting.
Lastly, intentionally promote great sleep in your life. Cut foods and drink that disrupt your sleep. Create a sleep schedule and evening routine that helps you wind down and gain sleep during the optimal sleep hours, 10pm to your natural wake-up time. Invest in a good mattress, pillows, and curtains that block light. Keep cell phones and computers away from your bed. Your body needs good rest in order to recover and restore, especially when you are combating pain.