What a pain! Whether you have arthritis, tendinitis, muscle pain (e.g. fibromyalgia), or chronic nerve pain (neuropathy), pain can put a major damper on your quality of life. Sadly, contemporary medical practices in the United States have led to an opiod crisis that leaves people hooked on drugs that don’t really solve the underlying causes of chronic pain (1).
Thankfully, there are alternative pain solutions that are backed by scientific evidence – many of which require very little effort on your part while being highly affordable.
Evidence-Based Natural Pain Solutions
The simplicity and practicality of these natural pain solutions is what makes them so appealing. No need for multiple doctor visits just to be left empty-handed (or with a prescription for an addictive substance). If you’re in need of a alternative pain remedy, science suggests these are worth a shot:
Roll Out the Pain
The majority of the muscle aches and soreness are the result of ‘knotting’ in muscle tissue and surrounding fascia. If you can’t afford massage therapy, using a foam roller is the next best option for loosening these painful knots (i.e. it’s a type of myofascial release). Clinical evidence suggests that regular foam rolling can significantly reduce muscular soreness/tightness and expedite the recovery process (2).
Distract Your Brain with Relaxing Music
Research shows that slow-tempo music helps reduce heart rate and blood pressure, essentially the opposite of what happens in response to chronic pain (3). Since the brain is ultimately the center of pain perception, it only makes sense that calming the mind with some relaxing music will help ease painful sensations.
CBD for Pain
Given that CBD is a well-known “stimulator” of the endocannabinoid system (ECS), it’s no surprise that many studies have found it to be a useful natural pain remedy (4). As time evolves, it’s very likely that CBD will continue to garner interest from holistic and alternative healthcare practitioners as a means of managing chronic pain.
And thanks to its exceptional safety profile, many people find topical CBD cream to be a nothing-to-lose-everything-to-gain remedy for localized pain. Other users suggest that CBD oil tends to be a better fit for systemic pain.
If pain is taking over your life, it’s undoubtedly worth a shot to try either form of CBD.
Cut Out Pro-Inflammatory Foods
When you regularly eat foods that induce a low-grade inflammatory response, the integrity of the gut wall is eroded (5). Consequently, any inflammatory pain you may be experiencing will only become more intense.
According to the present scientific body of evidence, the major dietary culprits of low-grade inflammation include (6):
- Added sugars
- Fatty dairy products (e.g. whole milk)
- Refined flour (e.g. processed bread, crackers, chips, etc.)
- Vegetable oils (particularly soybean and corn oil)
- Grain-fed and processed meat products
It’s crucial to eliminate – or at least greatly reduce – your consumption of these pro-inflammatory foods when trying to manage chronic pain.
Practice Yoga for Pain Management
A recent meta-analysis concluded that there is strong evidence that even short-term yoga can significantly improve quality of life and reduce pain in individuals with pain-associated disabilities, such as chronic back pain and rheumatoid arthritis (7). Given the abundance of yoga studios these days, there’s no reason to not give it a shot and see if it helps.
Get Back to Pain-Free Living!
Pain doesn’t have to stop you from doing what you love most. Many people have found solutions to their chronic pain without the need for harsh drugs. By trying the alternative pain solutions mentioned above, you’re bound to see some improvement in your quality of life.