Your head hurts, you pop a pill. Your knees hurt, you pop a pill. Basically, anytime you feel pain, you’re probably popping a pill. Sure, these pills can help relieve pain, but in a day, you’re probably up to four pills, and in a month, you can be up to 120! Taking pain-relieving pills has been tied to health complications, a sick liver, for example.
Instead of relying on over-the-counter solutions, why not go natural with the below six remedies that can offer relief to your nagging pain.
Clove oil: Got a tooth ache? Put a few drops of clove oil on a cotton ball and apply it to the painful gum area for about 10 minutes several times a day. Although effective, as many over-the-counter tooth pain relievers, it is only a temporary fix. If tooth ache is a chronic problem for you, you should go see your dentist.
Capsaicin: Capsaicin is the active ingredient in chilies which gives them their spicy kick. Found in topical creams and oral supplements, it works by decreasing levels of substance P, which is a pain-signaling chemical.
Some have questioned if eating hot peppers can help reduce pain in the long run. Although unproven, it is possible. Including spicy foods in your diet regularly may help reduce overall inflammation.
Acupuncture: You may have heard of acupuncture as an ancient Chinese form of medicine which involves inserting super-thin needles into specific points of the body. If you’re scared of needles and that is why you haven’t tried acupuncture – don’t fret, they are so thin you won’t even feel them. Numerous studies have shown the beneficial effects of acupuncture in relieving different types of pain, including headaches, back pain, and osteoarthritis.
Exercise: You may not want to exercise when you’re in pain, but physical activity can actually work to relieve it. Exercise stimulates blood flow and synovial fluids, which help lubricate joints to ease joint pain. Moreover, exercise releases endorphins, which make you feel good and are considered the body’s own natural painkillers.
Just be cautious though: If your pain is a result of a sprain, fracture, or torn ligament, do not push through to exercise – this will only worsen your injury. If you’re unsure about starting an exercise routine, you may want to consult with a trainer or a physiotherapist for guidance.
Massage: Massages don’t just pamper, they have been shown to reduce pain, too. In one study of people suffering with chronic lower back pain, those who underwent weekly massages experienced less pain after 10 weeks. Massages don’t just improve blood flow and release tension. They have been shown to release the same endorphins as exercise to combat pain.
As you can see, there are many different alternatives when it comes to improving pain – the key is to find one that suits you the best.