by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
It is estimated that 100 million people in the United States are living with chronic pain. With some dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as the right combination of supplements, natural pain relief is often possible.
Common Chronic Pain Conditions
- Back Pain
Chronic back pain is often the result of traumatic injury, spinal canal stenosis or herniated disc. Repetitive motion injury can also play a role in the development of chronic back pain.
Migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches can contribute to the development of chronic pain. For example, 28 million people struggle with chronic migraine headaches 3 or 4 times per month. The debilitating pain, nausea, and sensitivity to light can be unbearable. Tension headaches are becoming so common the occurrence is now being referred to as “chronic headache syndrome.”
- Joint Pain
Arthritis, gout, bursitis, and fibromyalgia are a few of the most common conditions associated with chronic joint pain. Alcoholic drinks, red meat, chocolate, coffee, and artificial sweeteners can worsen this discomfort. Certain weather conditions might also exacerbate symptoms.
- Muscle Aches
Sometimes, muscle aches and pains are just a part of everyday life. You overwork or pull a muscle and you’re sore for a few days. But for chronic pain sufferers, muscle pain can last for weeks, months, and even years. Chronic muscle aches can also be the result of conditions such as fibromyalgia, lupus, and chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune diseases such rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and lupus can cause chronic pain and inflammation. In someone with an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks your own healthy cells and tissues, leading to widespread pain and fatigue.
Over-the-Counter and Prescription Drugs
For the conditions listed above, the most common treatments are over-the-counter and prescription drugs. While these drugs work to relieve the discomfort for a while, they do not treat the underlying causes of chronic pain. They are a viable option when nothing else relieves pain.
- Narcotic Pain Relievers
Narcotic pain relievers are sometimes needed for both acute and chronic pain. Problems can arise from abuse.
Narcotics work to depress your central nervous system, which means they lower the amount of pain signals that go from your body to your brain.
- NSAID Pain Relievers
NSAID pain relievers work on a chemical level to block cox-1 and cox-2 enzymes, the enzymes responsible for creating prostaglandins the cause swelling and pain. Though temporarily effective, NSAID pain relievers such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve, and Celebrex, have been shown to cause serious intestinal side effects. Overuse of NSAID pain relievers can cause bleeding ulcers and chronic intestinal inflammation. NSAIDs have also been shown to contribute to the development of high blood pressure, liver malfunction, and kidney disease. Sensitive individuals have been shown to experience allergic reactions, sinus problems, and even asthma.
- Steroidal Pain Relievers
Steroidal pain relievers are synthetic forms of cortisone commonly used to treat chronic pain and autoimmune conditions. They work by suppressing your immune system. Suppressing your immune system increases your chances of developing a serious infection. Steroidal pain relievers can also result in mood swings, weight gain, increased blood pressure, glaucoma, cataracts, easy bruising, and slow wound healing.
For these reasons, they are generally used short term.
Natural Pain Relief
When possible, it is a wise health choice to address the underlying cause.
The following natural solutions can be very helpful:
Dietary and Environmental Changes
Any chronic pain and inflammatory condition can be exacerbated by the synthetic chemicals found in highly-processed foods and the cosmetics and cleaning products in your home.
High fructose corn syrup, sucralose, aspartame, BHT, BHA, and trans fats have all been shown to increase inflammation. On the other hand, garlic, onions, cayenne pepper, turmeric, and broccoli have been shown to reduce the inflammatory response.
Studies have indicated that the parabens and phthalates in the cosmetics and cleaning products you use every day can interfere with normal immune system function. This can result in chronic pain and the development of autoimmune disease. Switching to organic, synthetic-free products can give your over-worked immune system a break.
Supplements for Chronic Pain Relief
Prescription and over-the-counter pain relievers block pain and inflammation temporarily but in some cases may be a needed option.
The following natural treatments can help provide lasting pain relief without the side effects:
- Skullcap Root
Skullcap root is a flowering herb native to the United States and Canada. It works by inhibiting the prostaglandin E2 responsible for chronic pain and inflammation. Skullcap has also been shown to reduce hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage to leukocytes, which keeps your immune system strong.
- Bee Propolis Extract
Bee propolis is a resinous antimicrobial substance made by bees for the purposes of disinfecting the hive. Bee propolis extract is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. It also balances out oxygen content, repairs corrupted molecules, and has been shown to be an effective in cancer treatments. The secret to the potency of bee propolis is the caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE), which provides natural immune-boosting properties.
- Turmeric Root Extract
This orange spice has been used for thousands of years in cooking and medicine. It contains a pharmacologically active component called curcumin, which limits the action of lipoxygenase and cyclooxygenase, which impedes enzymes in the inflammatory pathways. Curcumin is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories in the world. Studies have shown that in addition to providing strong anti-inflammatory benefits, curcumin has been shown to reduce the development of head and neck cancer.
- Graminex G60 Pollen Extract
Graminex G60 pollen extract is a source of 10 essential amino acids, non-essential amino acids, and antioxidants. In vitro animal studies have shown that Graminex G60 provides anti-inflammatory properties through the inhibition of prostaglandin and leukotrien synthesis. It also relaxes your smooth muscles, easing tension and pain.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain and inflammation, there is a natural option containing all of the natural alternatives I mentioned above. It’s Diamond Nutritional’s Inflamments Formula and it contains just the right blend of healing ingredients so there’s no need to purchase them separately and figure out how to mix them.
Even if you’ve been suffering from chronic pain and inflammation for years, there is still hope. The first step is getting to the bottom of your symptoms is treating them from the inside out. Dietary and lifestyle changes will make a big difference, as will adding the right healing supplements.
If you’re currently taking prescription pain relievers, never suddenly stop taking them. With the help and direction of your medical provider, you should slowly wean off of them while you introduce a healing diet and supplements. Within a few months, you’ll be amazed at the difference in your health.
Do you need more natural health information about your chronic pain condition? Click here to ask me any health question and I’ll get back to you in 48 hours with some advice. If you need comprehensive help, I’m available for private, natural health consultations.