Millions of Americans experience pain in their daily lives. In fact, an estimated one in four Americans has experienced a full day of pain in the last month — and one in 10 said the pain lasted for a year or more.
Fortunately, whether your pain is in your back, knees, hands or head, and whether you know the cause or not, there are natural methods that can help relieve the pain.
Here are seven natural remedies that help ease the pain:
1. Chili Pepper
Chili Pepper has been shown to target and relieve arthritis, muscle stiffness and headaches thanks to capsaicin, its active component that desensitizes pain-producing nerve receptors. You can eat the spicy stuff for mild pain relief, or choose a topical capsaicin cream for more severe pain. Chili pepper is most often used for muscle and nerve pain, and is used to relieve migraine headaches.
Tumeric has naturally occurring curcumin, which has been shown to ease rheumatoid arthritis. Like chili, you can eat it for mild overall relief, or get caplets containing turmeric from a natural health food store.
MSM is a natural substance that provides relief from joint pain, inflammation and allergies. Aspirin and drugs can shut off the nerves so you get temporary relief, but the muscles are still left damaged from the inflammation. MSM fights the inflammation, which permits your muscles to heal and prevents them from becoming sore again.
MSM is a natural form of sulfur found in all living organisms and is present in our bodily fluids and tissues. It is found in many fresh foods—including most fruits and vegetables, milk and some types of grains—but it is easily destroyed by modern food processing methods.
Arnica is an herb derived from a European flower and has natural anti-inflammatory properties that have been shown to reduce bruising, muscles aches and swelling. It is available topically as a cream or orally in pill form.
5. Fish Oil
Fish oil has been shown to relieve joint pain, back aches, and arthritis. As your body digests the oil, it is naturally broken down into anti-inflammatory chemicals. You can get the fish oil by eating fish such as salmon or cod or by taking a high quality pure fish oil supplement.
A study of 40 Ohio pain-clinic patients found that those who listened to music (ranging from pop to jazz to nature sounds) for an hour a day reported a 12 percent to 21 percent reduction in pain. Music has also been used to effectively reduce labor pain, post-surgery pain, and burn treatment.
Yoga is believed to reduce pain by helping the brain’s pain center regulate the gate-controlling mechanism located in the spinal cord and the secretion of natural painkillers in the body. Breathing exercises used in yoga can also reduce pain. Because muscles tend to relax when you exhale, lengthening the time of exhalation can help produce relaxation and reduce tension.
The best Yoga techniques for pain management are Yoga breathing, relaxation, and meditation. These three aspects of Yoga act to distract your mind from pain, reduce your body’s tension in reaction to pain, and provide an opportunity to “move through” the pain instead of resisting it.