If you don’t want to pop a pill for your pain, you may want to consider these natural pain relief alternatives. Read on to learn more.
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9 Natural Pain Relief Alternatives
If you’re looking for natural nerve pain relief options, you may want to try some yoga. Yoga is an Indian discipline that combines physical, spiritual, and mental practices.
The physical practice of yoga involves stretching. Much like physical therapy, it may serve as natural back pain relief.
On top of that, yoga is also a great way to manage anxiety. It’s important to manage anxiety because it can exacerbate pain perception.
Tip: Basic yoga poses like the Child’s Pose, Cobra Pose, and Downward Facing Dog Pose helps stretch out the muscles in your back.
Looking for a natural chronic pain relief alternative? Try acupuncture!
What is acupuncture? It’s a form of traditional Chinese medicine where needles are inserted in the skin to treat different conditions, including pain.
Several studies show that acupuncture is an effective way to treat chronic pain. On top of that, other studies show that it can also stimulate the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate pain perception and mood.
If you increase serotonin levels, it may help reduce pain.
3. Hot and Cold Compress
A common first-aid remedy for pain is using a hot and cold compress. So if you’re dealing with non-chronic pain, this technique might be helpful to help relax muscles and soothe stiffness.
But which do you use to help alleviate pain? Do you apply heat or cold?
Here are a few tips on using a hot and cold compress for pain:
- Use a cold compress if you want to reduce inflammation or swelling.
- Use a hot compress if you want to reduce stiffness.
- Wrap your hot or cold compress in a towel to protect your skin from irritation.
- Apply hot compress 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Apply cold compress 10-15 minutes at a time. Using cold compress for more than 20 minutes may damage your skin tissue or nerves.
If your skin looks too pink or red after using a hot or cold compress, wait for it to go back to its usual color before applying it again.
4. Willow Bark
Inflammation is a common cause of pain and willow bark has been a natural way to combat it for centuries. Willow bark is rich in salicin, a chemical similar to the chemicals found in aspirin.
Just like aspirin, willow bark has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic properties. These days, willow bark comes in the following convenient forms:
- Ready-to-use tea bags
- Liquid supplements
- Capsule supplements
Willow bark supplements are used to help treat lower back pain, osteoarthritis, and headaches. But it may have accompanying side effects, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about taking it.
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5. Turmeric Powder
Turmeric isn’t just a delicious spice that helps liven up your favorite curry dishes, but it may also provide some natural pain relief. Not only does it have anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s also rich in curcumin, a powerful antioxidant.
Antioxidants can help protect your body from free radicals which causes damage at the cellular level. Studies show that 1000 mg of curcumin each day can help treat arthritis pain.
You can increase your turmeric intake by using it as an ingredient more often, but there are other ways to enjoy its benefits. It also comes in the form of ready-to-drink tea bags and as dietary supplements.
Another spice that may help with pain is cloves. Studies show that clove extract had pain-relieving effects on mice.
Researchers link these pain-relieving effects to eugenol, a chemical found in cloves that has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Many over-the-counter topical pain rubs list eugenol as an ingredient. Apart from that, clove supplements also come in oil, powder, and capsule form.
Ginger is another pain-relieving spice that you may want to add to your arsenal of natural pain remedies. Traditionally, ginger has been used to promote gastrointestinal health and relieve motion sickness, but it may have more to offer.
A review of different studies shows that two grams of ginger each day may help reduce inflammation and muscle pain. On top of that, it may also help promote recovery after exercise.
Another group of researchers tested the effects of ginger root powder capsules on menstrual cramps. The researchers discovered that ginger helped reduce the intensity and duration of the menstrual cramp pain.
8. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil doesn’t just smell great, but it may also help relieve pain. It comes from the Mentha piperita L. plant which has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, digestive, and antiseptic properties.
It also contains active compounds such as limonene, menthol, and carvacrol. Peppermint essential oil may bring you some relief if you’re experiencing muscle spasms, arthritic pain, or headaches.
If you get your hand on some peppermint essential oil, here’s how you can use it:
- Dilute some peppermint essential oil in some lotion and massage it on painful areas.
- Dilute some peppermint oil in a carrier oil and rub it on your forehead, temples, sinuses, and neck.
- Add a few drops of peppermint oil in a diffuser to help combat anxiety.
Tip: Peppermint oil is very potent, so avoid applying it directly on the skin without diluting it.
9. Bovine Collagen
If you’re looking for natural joint pain relief alternatives, then you may want to consider bovine collagen supplements. Bovine collagen is a natural source of collagen from cows cartilage, bones, and hides.
Studies show that bovine collagen supplements can help reduce the painful symptoms of osteoarthritis. Usually, older adults develop osteoarthritis because of the wear and tear of joint cartilages.
Bovine collagen can help improve symptoms because bone cartilage is made up of collagen. So you may strengthen and improve cartilage function by increasing collagen stores.
It’s possible to get collagen from your diet, but it may be difficult to get enough to make an impact on your pain. Taking supplements with bovine collagen is a convenient way to increase your body’s supply of collagen.
Here’s a quick video about the difference between hot and cold compress to relieve pain and swelling:
Alternative medicine offers another path to pain management. If you want to avoid the risks associated with taking pain medication, consider these natural pain relief methods.
Have you tried any of these natural pain relief alternatives? How well did they work for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
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