Natural Treatments for Chronic Pain
Treatment options for chronic pain tend to vary based on the origin of pain as well as the overseeing physician’s comfort level when dealing with chronic pain. Common treatments range from prescription pain relievers to electrical stimulation and biofeedback. Research has found that a number of natural remedies are effective for treating chronic pain, including acupuncture, yoga, and nutritional supplements like vitamin D and fish oil.
Three important facts to keep in mind when treating Chronic Pain Syndrome are:
- Researchers state that patients need to set reasonable goals, as complete pain relief may not be achieved (unless the underlying cause is identified and successfully treated, not usually the case). However, any degree of pain relief is better than none at all.
- Pain relief is rarely achieved without treatment.
- The best outcomes are achieved when the patient begins treatment within 6 months of the onset of the pain.
In other words, be proactive about beginning treatment for the pain as soon as possible. If one treatment doesn’t work, try something else.
Natural Pain Relievers and Remedies for CPS
The current approach to treating Chronic Pain Syndrome is to combine conventional and alternative treatments. A great many of the posts on Earth Clinic deal with the search for an effective treatment for a specific, painful ailment. There have been recommendations posted for natural pain relievers and treatments on many of the Ailments pages.
Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic For Your pH Balance
This is not an overnight treatment for pain relief, but a long-term approach for improved overall health. Some posters have reported quick pain relief, but that is not true for everyone. If someone’s bodily pH is too acid, that has a definite, negative impact on overall health. (For more information on pH, refer to Earth Clinic’s alkalizing page. Earth Clinic also has a book available, pH-Balanced for Life! The Easiest Way to Alkalize, written by our popular and expert long-time contributors Ted from Bangkok and Bill from the Philippines, that thoroughly covers how to get bodily pH into balance.)
Apple cider vinegar is a very good alkalizer. Drink this tonic 3 times a day to help restore the body’s pH balance and relieve inflammation.
- Mix 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar into one full glass of water.
There have been many studies of the effectiveness of acupuncture for pain management, including this study from the Oxford Journals. Those cultures that have been using acupuncture for centuries certainly know its worth.
Acupuncture is growing in popularity as a widely accepted, even mainstream treatment for pain. It uses a well-established needling practice on certain pressure points to relieve pain and stimulate effective bodily function. This treatment is effective for relieving pain related to fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, back injuries, and other sources of chronic pain
One of the problems with attempts to standardize acupuncture results could be that the outcome relies heavily upon the skill of the acupuncturist. For example, if 2 different doctors prescribe the identical treatment to a patient, the outcome will be the same irregardless of which doctor’s prescription is used. However, if the patient visits two different acupuncturists, the patient will probably have two different outcomes since their treatment and skill will not be identical. For this reason, ask around and do research to locate the best acupuncturist in your area.
Turmeric is one of the most valuable natural remedies; it is a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as being a natural anti-funglal and antibiotic. It is widely used in cooking, but when being taken as a supplement, it can be taken “straight” or in a capsule. Curcumin, the primary active component, is much more effective when taken with a small pinch of pepper. If choosing to take a turmeric capsule, look for capsules that contain piperine.
Yoga has become a readily prescribed treatment option for chronic pain in recent years. Yoga helps relieve stress on your body and can even make your system function more optimally by promoting effective circulation and lymphatic flow. Yoga is particularly effective for treating chronic pain that is associated with neck pain, back pain, and arthritis.
Harvard Medical School states that the secret to joint pain relief is exercise. Another option is tai chi, which is low impact and also recommended for stress relief.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish Oil) With EPA/DHA
Fish oil contains high concentrations of Omega-3 Fatty Acids DHA and EPA. These fats help reduce inflammation throughout your body and relieve pain. Fish oil also supports effective nerve function. Look for a fish oil supplement that contains 2 to 4 grams of both DHA and EPA fats to take by mouth daily.
A PubMed study found that more than half of study participants with back or neck pain stopped taking their prescription painkillers after taking 1200 mg. a day of a fish oil supplement with EPA/DHA for 75 days.
Chronic pain is one of the primary reasons that many people first begin to practice Trancendental Meditation. Studies have found that those who meditated daily had lower leves of stress and pain than those who did not. One study found that patients who practiced meditation in addition to other treatment had less pain while the pain scores of those who did not meditate had worsened.
Recent studies have shown than Vitamin D deficiency is closely linked to chronic pain. Vitamin D plays a key role in many bodily processes, but most important, it helps maintain effective nerve function. Try taking a daily supplement of 600 IU of vitamin D by mouth per day.
What Is Chronic Pain Syndrome?
Chronic Pain Syndrome is defined as any form of pain that lasts six months or longer. The pain can range in severity and may be episodic or continuous. Pain does not have to be debilitating to be chronic. It simply has to be present. In reality, it makes little difference to the sufferer whether or not their case fits the technical definition of CPS. Chronic pain can affect any part of the body, including the muscles, bones, joints, nerves and nervous system, and the organs.
One of the defining symptoms of Chronic Pain Syndrome is complexity. It may be very difficult to obtain a diagnosis of the cause, although a diagnosis should be sought. Pain is nature’s early warning system of a problem (even if we’d rather not be notified!). If the underlying problem can be identified, there might be a cure that would eliminate the pain
When dealing with chronic pain, your nervous system continues to interpret pain signals for months and even years following the initial trigger. Chronic pains often leads to additional problems, including fatigue, sleeplessness, withdrawal from activity, a weakened immune system, depression, change in mood, and disability. Negative emotions are often, and understandably, linked to chronic pain. Any pain level of pain relief can have a profound impact on someone’s life, job and relationships.
What Causes Chronic Pain?
According to research, chronic pain manifests in a variety of different ways. The pain may be triggered by an initial trauma, injury, or infection. However, some individuals experience pain even when there was no past injury. Common sources of chronic pain include headaches, joint pain, backaches, tendinitis, sinus pain, carpal tunnel, and generalized muscle and nerve pain.
Read more about treating Chronic Pain Syndrome with natural remedies below. Please let us know what remedies you have tried for chronic pain.