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Posted on 06-12-2017
5 Natural Ways To Reduce Pain
Hey everyone! Dr. Tim Joy here. I wanted to share some tips that everyone can implement in their lives to naturally reduce “regular” pain. We all have some pain, right? We all think that some pain is normal, right? Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret. Pain is NOT normal. It is always the result of some kind of “irritation” to one or more tissues in the body. Some pains present themselves with particular activities and can be expected, but “regular” pain without activity/injury is NEVER normal.
You may be saying to yourself, DocJoy, what can I do to naturally reduce/eliminate my pain? I’ll get to that in a minute. But first, a little bit about myself. I was taught, like the great majority of you, that we get “sick” and then go to the doctor. In the medical model, that is the process because medicine treats disease/sickness. The problem with this approach is that rarely is the causative factor for the disease/sickness treated. When we wait for the disease/sickness to occur, we are only treating the symptoms. The reason that this is a problem is that the “symptom” IS NOT the beginning of the problem. It is the end. It is the point of dysfunction where the tissues can no longer function without being pain/disease/sickness producing. This is further complicated when we make the incorrect assumption that once the symptom/pain has gone away, that we are “cured”. That is not the case. The majority of the time we are just “good enough” functionally to not hurt. When we judge our health by symptoms/no symptoms, we fall into the trap of “if it doesn’t hurt/hurt as bad as before” that we’re “ok”. That is also not true. In many, many instances, we are only “one offending action/movement away from being in a pain producing state again. How many of us have woken up to pain because we “slept wrong” or we bent over to pick something up and our “back went out”? We view the action as being the causative factor when in reality; the action was the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. This is where we need to understand that if we do not identify our “limitations of matte”, meaning the level of activity our tissues can take to perform on their own pain free, we will continually have the episodes of pain that eventually get us to the point where there is no time between “episodes”. This is how chronic pain develops. That is a spot that none of us want to reach.
Ok. Enough about that. Let’s look at some natural ways to reduce our “regular” pain. As I stated before, pain is always the result of tissue irritation. A big “irritator” of tissue is inflammation. The biggest cause of constant inflammation in our bodies is SUGAR. It produces an inflammatory response to our tissues (predominantly our vasculature), that produces pain and leads to other health issues, the most significant being high blood pressure. ANYTHING that breaks down into sugars (dairy, breads, grains, rice, alcohol etc.) will produce this inflammatory response. Eating too much of the aforementioned foods, along with processed foods, will trigger this inflammatory response and will cause pain. So try to minimize your sugar intake and you may have less pain.
A second way to reduce pain is supplementation. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are popular with treating the pain and swelling associated with osteoarthritis. Studies on their effectiveness have been mixed, but a 2015 research review determined that this combo significantly reduces pain and improves functioning in people with osteoarthritis of the knee. There is no risk associated with taking them so it is worth a shot. Another beneficial supplement is Omega-3 fatty acids which are found in fish oil. Multiple studies have proved the efficacy of Omega-3 supplementation to reduce inflammation and pain.
A third natural way to reduce pain is through herbal remedies. Curcumin, which is found in turmeric, has been shown to have excellent anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties. Of course, before starting ANY herbal regimen, you should consult with your physician or a licensed naturopath.
The fourth “natural” way to reduce your pain is massage therapy. Massage therapy is an excellent natural treatment for back pain, osteoarthritis, tension headaches, fibromyalgia, neck pain and many other “pain producing” disorders. Sure, massages “feel” great, but they provide much more. Massage therapy has been shown to boost levels of endorphins and serotonin – which are the body’s natural painkillers and mood regulators – and to reduce stress hormone levels. Massage therapy may also work at a molecular level, helping to turn on and off genes associated with inflammation, according to a study in Science Translational Medicine.
The fifth and final natural method to reduce pain that we will discuss today is chiropractic care. The benefits are well documented in the literature and have been proven over and over. Our clinic uses advanced chiropractic and diagnostic procedures that allow the patient to be “in charge” of their pain relief. Our goals of treatment are not to have you in “once a week for the rest of your life”. We identify your “limitations of matter” as discussed earlier in this article and help you formulate a plan to make up for these deficits in your tissues ability to function pain free, which allows you to maintain a “pain-free lifestyle” that you are in charge of forever. All of these natural pain relievers can and should be used in conjunction with one another to allow you to be pain free.
Dr. Tim Joy, D.C.
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