Other than the pain associated with intense exercise, pain is not something I deal with often, thankfully. But recently, I had to undergo some dental surgery which reminded me about how good it feels to NOT feel pain. It also gave me compassion for so many people I know who deal with pain on a regular basis.
If you haven’t been in pain lately, don’t take it for granted…it feels SO good to feel good!
Most pain is preventable and even reversible with the right methods. Pain should be temporary. In the case of my dental surgery, I had to manage pain for about a week, then some discomfort for another week as my body worked hard to do it’s healing magic.
If you are currently in pain, it’s natural that you’d be reading an article like this…but this is an important topic to consider even if you’re not currently dealing with pain at the moment. Once you’re already in pain, sometimes it can be hard to think clearly. It hurts! At that point you’ll do just about anything to stop it, so you want to have a plan ready for if something comes up unexpectedly.
I am excited to share here, some of the things I consider as I work with clients who are struggling with this tough symptom. At New Hope Health, it is our goal to end needless suffering…I hope this does just that for you and those you love!
Why does it hurt? Where is the pain coming from?
Figuring out the root cause is key to stopping the pain. Although most pain can be relieved to some degree by natural means, it’s important to understand where it’s coming from.
If the pain is severe and the cause is unknown, this is often a great time to go to the emergency room. I know that for myself and most of the clients I work with, this is a last resort. Fair…but there is a place for it and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Is the pain a predictable consequence of an accident, injury or surgery? Some examples would include pain after spraining an ankle, having a dental extraction, or having a baby. There is hope here as you know that the pain will last somewhere between a few days and a couple of weeks and will typically subside over time.
Is the pain a natural consequence of unnatural living? For example, many people regularly get headaches due to a lack of sleep or high stress, both of which we have a great deal of control over. If you have back or knee pain because you’re over-training or overweight, these would be some additional examples. You know why it’s there and it’s predictable based on some specific action you take (or don’t take).
How bad does it hurt?
The severity of your pain will be one factor to consider when you’re seeking to discern the best route to talk for relief.
Again, if you are dealing with severe pain, you may need to go to ER or seek some medical attention for additional support.
In many cases, people choose to do over the counter pain meds such as NSAIDS (Ibuprofen) or Acetaminophen (Tylenol). Even these milder over the counter medications have side effects such as stomach bleeding and liver challenges.1 However, they are dose dependent, meaning that the more you take and the longer you take them, the more problematic they become. Do what you need to do so you can get temporary relief but just recognize that these substances are short term band aids that do not address the real underlying problem. If you’re needing them regularly, get some help getting to the root cause!
That said, being in excessive pain can hinder healing. It makes it hard to breathe deeply, sit up straight, sleep well, be active and so much more. Do what you need to so that you are getting to the root case as quickly as possible. Get help if you need it!
For mild to moderate pain, there are lots of natural options which we will get into below. But I do recommend using the natural anti-inflammatories even if you are taking over the counter products (of course, consult your doctor and do your homework about interactions).
Let’s get practical…
What to do:
- How severe is the pain and do you know why you have it? This will dramatically alter what you do next.
- Be sure to implement the basics? The basics are things like sleep, hydration, nutrition, movement, managing stress, etc. If for example, you have a splitting headache and you know that you haven’t had water all day, before you do anything too invasive, try a big glass of water and laying down for 10 minutes to rest and do some deep breathing.
- STOP the sources of the pain if you can. If you get a headache every time you drink caffeine or eat gluten or spend time with cats or dogs that you’re allergic to, there’s no way around it…you’ll need to stop! Your health is worth the sacrifice! Of course if your pain is due to something like a dental extraction, this doesn’t apply.
- Become aware of your thoughts. This is a tough one. Naturally when you’re in pain it can be easy to fill your head with “this sucks…it hurts…will it ever stop…what if I can’t make it go away”…etc). Your mind is powerful, and we need it working for us. Replace these thoughts with one or two simple encouraging phrases and/or positively framed questions. Some great options would be things like: “I am healing, my body is relaxed as it repairs, my body is strong and working well, how can I feel better? What can I do to better control my breathing? How can I schedule more focused healing time today?”
- Start the pain-relieving, soothing and anti-inflammatory methods…Naturally, every person and situation is unique so for some conditions, a specific one of these will work great…for other more serious conditions, you may need to do several or all of them.
- Mud packs- Mud packing is a powerful ancient therapy that helps reduce blocked energy from previous injuries. The therapy itself is super relaxing (many people fall asleep).
- Castor oil packs- Using castor oil topically can reduce inflammation, improve circulation to the area and thus support a reduction in pain.
- Heat- Depending on the cause of pain, using heat can be helpful. This can be in the form of hot water bottle, sauna or my favorite, the healing pads (Mini, Small and Medium).
- Cold/ice- Again, there’s a place for everything…although hot can be great, cold can also be used to reduce inflammation and draw heat from the area. This can be done by cold plunging (for example soaking a painful foot or ankle in a bucket of ice water) or ice packs.
- Turmeric (Fermented Turmeric/Ginger powder and Turmeric caps)- Turmeric is a root that is well known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties. A study done in 2021 found turmeric comparable to NSAIDS for helping with pain.2
- DHA (DHA caps, DHA+D, DHA+E, EPA/DHA Marine (softgels and liquid) can be helpful for both muscle3 as well as bone and joint pain4, again, due mostly to it’s anti-inflammatory properties.
- Vitamin E (Deltanol and DHA+E), specifically in the form of delta tocotrienols, is helpful for reducing oxidative stress which is created when you have injuries or inflammation.5
- Arnica- This is a homeopathic remedy that can be helpful especially if you use it right away as soon as the accident or surgery or injury occurs to help with pain.6 You can get arnica to use topically as well as small tablets to dissolve under your tongue.
- CoQ10 increased healthy circulation and can be especially helpful for muscle pain.7
- Clay (MediClay) is best known for helping with pain associated with gastrointestinal issues such as stomach cramping, diarrhea, and other abdominal discomfort such as from food poisoning. However, one study found it to also be helpful in reducing lower back pain.8
- Other antioxidants- NAC, Green Tea-ND, Astaxsanthin, Glutathione, CoQ10, Bioflavenoids, etc.
- There are lots of other supplements specific to each condition that can be helpful but this post can’t cover them all. For example, if your pain is due to post workout muscle cramps Magnesium (Magnesium Powder and Magnesium Buffered), Pink Salt water and CoQ10 can prove helpful.
- Epsom salt baths- Epsom salt is especially helpful for reducing sore muscles be it from a car accident (whip lash) or a tough workout.9
Shopping list– I usually have everything listed above on hand in my “medicine cabinet”. If you can order it all today, do it! You just never know when you’ll need it. If you’re not able to do that, plan to get one or two of these things each week until you have a fully stocked holistic “pain killer kit”.
For most of these things, you can get a couple of bottles ahead of time and store them for a couple of years so it’s no problem to stock up. When you’re in pain, this is no time to ration the natural stuff! You want to have it ready to use and be able to start it right away.
If you have been dealing with pain and are ready to try something new, we’d love to help you! Don’t wait. You will never get this time back. Call the clinic today at 269-204-6525.
1. Aitken P, Stanescu I, Playne R, Zhang J, Frampton CMA, Atkinson HC. An integrated safety analysis of combined acetaminophen and ibuprofen (Maxigesic®/ Combogesic®) in adults. J Pain Res. 2019;12. doi:10.2147/JPR.S189605
2. Paultre K, Cade W, Hernandez D, Reynolds J, Greif D, Best TM. Therapeutic effects of turmeric or curcumin extract on pain and function for individuals with knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2021;7(1). doi:10.1136/bmjsem-2020-000935
3. Corder KE, Newsham KR, McDaniel JL, Ezekiel UR, Weiss EP. Effects of short-term docosahexaenoic acid supplementation on markers of inflammation after eccentric strength exercise in women. J Sports Sci Med. 2016;15(1).
4. Zhang L, Terrando N, Xu ZZ, et al. Distinct analgesic actions of DHA and DHA-derived specialized pro-resolving mediators on post-operative pain after bone fracture in mice. Front Pharmacol. 2018;9(MAY). doi:10.3389/fphar.2018.00412
5. Silva LA, Pinho CA, Silveira PCL, et al. Vitamin e supplementation decreases muscular and oxidative damage but not inflammatory response induced by eccentric contraction. Journal of Physiological Sciences. 2010;60(1). doi:10.1007/s12576-009-0065-3
6. Smith AG, Miles VN, Holmes DT, Chen X, Lei W. Clinical Trials, Potential Mechanisms, and Adverse Effects of Arnica as an Adjunct Medication for Pain Management. Medicines. 2021;8(10). doi:10.3390/medicines8100058
7. Qu H, Guo M, Chai H, Wang WT, Ga ZY, Shi DZ. Effects of coenzyme Q10 on statin-induced myopathy: An updated meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018;7(19). doi:10.1161/JAHA.118.009835
8. Delfino MT, Medeiros GM da S de, Schlindwein AD. Green medicinal clay in the treatment of the unspecified lumbar pain: clinical trial. Brazilian Journal Of Pain. 2020;3(2). doi:10.5935/2595-0118.20200046
9. Shin HJ, Na HS, Do SH. Magnesium and pain. Nutrients. 2020;12(8). doi:10.3390/nu12082184
Nothing said or implied in this post is intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease. It does not take the place of a qualified health care practitioner and is intended for educational purposes only.