The Best Natural Pain Relievers
Chronic pain is a modern day epidemic that affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide. It costs nations billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical expenses every year. Debilitating pain effects more individuals than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Doctors throw drug after drug at these pain syndromes with very little long-term success. Here are some of the best natural agents to reduce pain.
The most commonly used drugs to treat chronic pain conditions include opioids (morphine), nonsteroids (salicylates such as aspirin and ibuprofen), antidepressants, antiepileptics and anti-nerve growth factor inhibitors. All of these drugs have awful side effects and addictive tendencies. In fact, prescription and over the counter pain medications are the fastest growing drug addiction in North America (1).
The Dangers of Pain Medications:
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are some of the most commonly prescribed and utilized medications throughout the world. These medications such as aspirin and Tylenol are easy to get and inexpensive. Most people believe they aren’t harmful, however, they are linked with very serious side effects. They have been shown to damage the stomach lining leading to reduced protein absorption and a much greater increase for food allergens and stomach ulcers (2). They also damage the kidneys and liver and increase the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Many individuals perceive surgery as the best modality for their health issues and sometimes it is. However, research has indicated that nerve damage unavoidably produced during a surgical operation will cause chronic pain in 15 – 50% of patients (3). Other individuals are severely damaged by treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation that cause states of increased inflammation and pain.
Address the Cause of the Pain:
Addressing the underlying mental/emotional, chemical and physical stressors that are causing the chronic inflammation and pain is the ultimate goal. This process takes time and deep introspection along with trusted holistic health care providers. Here are some great natural pain relievers that have no dangerous side effects. In fact, these nutrients have a significantly positive health effect on the entire body.
Best Natural Pain Relievers:
Proteolytic Enzymes: Proteolytic enzymes are specific enzymes that metabolize protein. These enzymes are naturally produced by the human body and other living organisms and help carry out essential functions. Studies have shown that these reduce the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP) as well as arterial plaques, blood clots & scar tissue .
These enzymes are also effective at reducing swelling, pain and edema (4, 5, 6). Proteolytic enzymes are also able to eat away at abnormal and cancer cell growths and allow the immune system to destroy tumorous growths (7).
Turmeric, Ginger & Boswelia: Taking large doses of anti-inflammatory herbs has been shown to dramatically reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. These herbs provide powerful anti-oxidants and help modulate the immune system to ensure that it doesn’t hyper-inflame the damaged or vulnerable regions of the body.
Omega 3 Fatty acids & Quercetin: Omega 3 fatty acid supplements and astaxanthin reduce inflammation. Omega 3’s help provide better cell membrane receptor activity while astaxanthin provides a very strong anti-oxidant effect that combine to powerfully reduce inflammation and pain.
Probiotics: Chronic pain is often a sign of leaky gut syndrome and infections in the gut. Parasites will release toxins that increase inflammation within the body and for many individuals with cause states of chronic pain. Probiotics help to neutralize these toxins and fight back against parasites and other antagonistic organisms in the gut.
MSM & Sulfur Rich Foods: MSM & sulfur rich foods such as onions, garlic, chives, scallions, cruciferous vegetable family and raw, grass-fed dairy cheese & whey protein help reduce inflammation. MSM and sulfur containing amino acids have been shown to soften scar tissue, improve blood supply to the affected region, reduce muscle spasms and modulate inflammation (8).
Magnesium: Magnesium play a critical role in relaxing muscles, maximizing blood flow and allowing nutrients to be delivered into cells. Magnesium deficiencies lead to muscle spasms, cramping, poor blood flow and lowered intracellular nutrient delivery (9).
Methylating Agents: Methylation is a key biochemical process that happens billions of times every second to repair the DNA in the body. Poor methylation will lead to chronic inflammation and can lead to chronic pain (10). B vitamins are the key components to healthy methylation processes.
Take a whole-food B complex supplement, improve your gut health to absorb these nutrients more effectively. It is also key to eat lots of dark, green leafy vegetables and organic animal products to get these nutrients.
Sources For This Article Include:
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5) Grabs V, Nieman DC, Haller B, Halle M, Scherr J. The effects of oral hydrolytic enzymes and flavonoids on inflammatory markers and coagulation after marathon running: study protocol for a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation2014;6:8. PMC3945524
6) Clinical study of the efficacy of and tolerance to seaprose S in inflammatory venous disease. Controlled study versus serratio-peptidase. Bracale G, Selvetella L. Minerva Cardioangiol. 1996 Oct;44(10):515-24. Italian. PMID: 9091835
7) The indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase pathway controls complement-dependent enhancement of chemo-radiation therapy against murine glioblastoma. Li M, Bolduc AR, Hoda MN, Gamble DN, Dolisca SB, Bolduc AK, Hoang K, Ashley C, McCall D, Rojiani AM, Maria BL, Rixe O, MacDonald TJ, Heeger PS, Mellor AL, Munn DH, Johnson TS. J Immunother Cancer. 2014 Jul 7; PMID: 25054064
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10) Epigenetic regulation of acute inflammatory pain. Abzianidze E, Kvaratskhelia E, Tkemaladze T, Kankava K, Gurtskaia G, Tsagareli M. Georgian Med News. 2014 Oct;(235):78-81. PMID: 25416223