5 Fast Pain Relief Strategies
Greater than 70 million Americans suffer from chronic pain in today’s stressed out society. Rather than learning the root cause of their pain and treating it long term most individuals reach for temporary relief from medicine. Today the misuse of prescription drugs continues to lead to increased hospitalizations, admission to addiction clinics and fatalities (3).
Even children are taking too many pain medications like ibuprofen and aspirin which wreak havoc on the body’s detoxification organs like the liver and kidneys. Pain medications can lead to damage in the gut which increases inflammation and weakens the immune response by contributing to the likelihood of developing food allergies and stomach ulcers (4).
If you seek to get out of pain naturally using simple techniques with no adverse side effects, use these 5 strategies to find long term pain relief.
1) Super Hydration
Optimal water intake is necessary to eliminate toxins from the body. Water hydrates the lymphatic and circulatory system so that they can flush out waste. The lymphatic system alone is composed of 95% water and is a critical part of detoxification (2).
Dehydration can lead to an imbalance of electrolytes, fatigue, increased inflammation and symptoms such as headache and even hunger pains. One study showed that people who drank the most water had the greatest improvement in managing headache symptoms (1). I have seen good hydration make a huge impact in helping my clients get the pain relief they need.
We are often told to drink half of our body weight in ounces daily. Instead, consider drinking this recommended about of water before noon each day. Throughout the remainder of the day you should aim to hydrate your body with a total of 1 gallon purified water. Super hydration will help you eliminate the chronic pain you are experiencing by feeding your cells and tissue the most vital resource it requires.
2) Motion and Massage
Adding motion to your various joints boost your body’s total healing powers by promoting lymphatic drainage, increasing oxygenation to cells and reducing muscle tension and spasms. Here is a list of ways you can add motion and massage into your lifestyle to get the pain relief you need to get into your daily routine:
See a Chiropractor:
Remove stressors that are inhibiting the optimal function of your nervous system by receiving chiropractic care. Many jobs today have us tense and hunched over at computers during the day and too fatigued in the evening to be mindful of the consequences of slouching on the couch.
Seeing a chiropractor can help you remove physical stressors and spinal imbalances that may be inhibiting the ability of your nervous system to function optimally. Chiropractic care is shown to provide pain relief to patients healing from cancer, reduce pain associated with pregnancy and labor, and help approximately 96% of sufferers of chronic low back pain without surgical interventions (18, 19, 20).
Receiving regular adjustments helps restore health to the spine and balance to the body to relieve pain in the back as well as throughout the skeletal-muscle system. Try chiropractic to get the pain relief and enhances functionality you need.
Enjoy a Massage
Whether you visit a massage therapist or you use an at home massaging device, massage helps move fluid through your body to promote toxic waste removal. Massage therapists are specialized in finding pressure points that help reduce the stress response associated with pain such as headaches. Shiatsu massage has been shown to reduce pain and improve the quality of life in patients with fibromyalgia (12).
You alone can add motion to your body by using a foam roller to apply pressure to your muscles. For instance, if you are experiencing lower back pain, your chiropractor or physical therapist can show you how to gently use the roller to massage your back while lying down. Using a tennis ball is another cheap and easy technique to apply pressure to your soft muscle tissue to increase fluidity and relieve pain in the back and leg muscles around the knee.
Stretching a joint such as adding traction to the neck or wrist is an excellent way to reduce inflammation in that joint. Gentle stretching can reduce stiffness in the body, relieve tension and provide stress relief that may be contributing to your pain.
When self-stretching techniques were employed in one study of 81 individuals, a significant reduction of pain associated with the neck, shoulders, lower back and lower extremities after a short 4 week period (21).
Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to improve your overall health and manage pain. Exercise boosts lymphatic system drainage removing toxic waste and improves the oxygenation of blood to cells and tissue (11).
Both high intensity aerobic exercises as well as low impact yoga and Pilates are beneficial to reducing stress and pain. You can also check out the video below where I go over my favorite posture exercises.
3) Advanced Supplementation
Certain supplements can have a powerful impact on down regulation the inflammation that is associated with pain. I use 2 major supplement for individuals with pain, a purified fish oil that is high in EPA and DHA, along with curcumin which crosses the lipid barrier and gets right into the cells for immediate use.
This combination can be very effective for both acute and chronic pain relief situations.
A purified fish oil supplement is high in essential omega-3 fatty acids and is one of the most bioavailable forms of long chain EPA and DHA (15). High doses of fish oil significantly help lower inflammation in the body by improving cellular communication and repair, enhancing the immune response, improving joint motion, treating symptoms of gut dysbiosis and stimulating overall health and wellbeing (16, 17).
Consider taking 3-6g of a high quality EPA and DHA fish oil supplement daily for proactive support and for therapeutic pain relief. I have found this to be highly effective with my patients who are seeking out pain relief from chronic ailments. My favorite supplement for this is Pro Omega CRP which combines EPA and DHA with glutathione, NAC and curcumin.
The active antioxidant compound in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin is so effective at suppressing inflammation that it is a top nutrient used to fight numerous cancers (13).
Take 2g of curcumin 2 to 3 times daily with food to relieve pain fast. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin improve the immune system response by healing tissue damage and controlling inflammatory pathways associated with histamine release and digestive problems such as leaky gut and abdominal bloating (14).
4) Deep Breathing
Stop adding to the stress response in your body that comes with frequent shallow breaths. The average person takes 12 to 18 breaths every minute which deprives the body of oxygen and contributes to a fight or flight stress response. Inadequate respiration cycles leads to elevated levels of carbon dioxide in the blood which is known to induce the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and increase inflammation in the lungs (22).
Take time throughout the day to focus on your breathing to reduce inflammatory stress and help you get out of pain. You can complete this breathing technique sitting at a computer at work, along your daily commute, before you eat a meal and at bedtime to reduce the stress your body is burdened to carry.
- Inhale for 4 a second count.
- Pause for 2 seconds.
- Exhale for another 4 second count.
Repeat this exercise for 5 minutes 2 to 3 times daily and you will see a noticeable improvement in your pain management.
5) Intermittent Fasting:
The restriction of food from the body is one of the most effective ways to down regulate inflammation. The average American diet consist of toxic foods high in sugar, processed meats and trans-fats which cause gut dysbiosis. Even healthy foods stimulate stress because inflammatory pathways must be used to degrade calories and the mechanical act of digestion requires energy and immune surveillance.
While fasting you can get key minerals and antioxidants into your body by drinking organic broth, herbal teas and lemon water while increasing your overall water intake. Fasting has been shown to improve the immune system and fight inflammation in the following ways:
Increases Human Growth Hormone (HGH)
When insulin is secreted from the intake of carbohydrates, it inhibits the secretion of HGH. Naturally, fasting boosts the release of HGH so that it can regulate inflammatory pathways (8).
HGH repairs collagen in tissue to aid in the healing of bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. It supports efficient energy metabolism by better distributing proteins for use, regulates endocrine hormones and improves the health of detoxification organs like the liver for an improved immune response (9).
Decreases Inflammation and Free Radicals
The two major cytokines related to inflammation, Interleukin-6 and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha, have been found in research to significantly decrease with fasting (6). Fasting for no less than 12 hours and total caloric restriction both resulted in this benefit in study. (7)
These cytokines are associated with chronic pain and suppressing them with fasting strategies would result in a high level of pain relief.
Promotes Cellular Regenerative Processes
Animals intrinsically know that when they are battling an infection that is best to starve themselves of food. Unfortunately, humans have lost this wisdom and consume food when sick which interferes with the immune system’s demands to heal the body.
Fasting not only suppresses insulin secretion and upregulates human growth hormone for regulating cellular processes, but it also stimulates autophagy (“cellular eating”). Autophagy is a cellular process that removes damaged debris from the body reducing its toxic burden on tissue and suppressing inflammation.
Fasting increases antioxidant powerhouses like SOD (superoxide dismutase), improves mitochondrial function and limits oxidative stressors that damage tissue. (10) This process promotes cellular regenerative processes and overall tissue repair as well as supporting pain relief.
If you want to get out of pain, apply these 5 strategies to your everyday life. When you do sit down to a meal, adjust your diet to eat clean, anti-inflammatory whole foods that upregulate detoxification processes (5).
Increase the amount of foods containing sulfur like broccoli, kale, sprouts, onions and garlic. Eat foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, olive oil and wild-caught salmon. Limit your toxic intake by buying organic produce and 100% grass-fed meats and eggs locally when available.
Changing your diet, increasing your hydration, chiropractic care and good joint motion can make a huge difference in the battle for pain relief. Try using these pain relief strategies on a regular basis so you can get out of pain and stay out of pain once and for all.