If you’re one of the 1.5 billion people worldwide affected by chronic pain, chances are you’re willing to try anything for pain relief. But, some of the traditional drugs prescribed for chronic pain may actually be harming your body. Natural medicine practitioner Dr. David Jockers recommends seven natural painkillers that can not only help relieve chronic pain, but may also encourage health and wellness throughout our entire body.
Chronic pain is a modern epidemic that affects more than 1.5 billion people around the world, every day. It costs billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical expenses every year. In fact, debilitating pain affects more people than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined. Doctors often prescribe medication after medication for this chronic ailment, yet the end results offer very little long-term success and instead may lead to unintended harmful side effects.
Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory medications are some of the most commonly used and prescribed medications. These medications, which include aspirin or Tylenol, are inexpensive and easy to access. What most consumers don’t know however, is that these cheap over the counter medicines can actually cause some serious side effects. Anti-inflammatory medications have been shown to damage the stomach lining, which can cause reduced protein absorption and increase the likelihood for food allergies or stomach ulcers. They can also damage our organs and increase the risk of some cancers. Moreover, these meds only treat the short-term pain, without considering what is causing the pain.
Instead of just treating your pain symptom by symptom, your goal should be to address the underlying mental/emotional, chemical and physical stressors that are causing the chronic inflammation and pain. This process takes time and deep introspection, in combination with working with trusted holistic health care providers.
In the meantime, instead of prescription medications, consider natural painkillers, which can provide natural pain relief without side effects, and may offer other health benefits for the rest of our body as well.
7 Natural Painkillers To Try
1. Proteolytic Enzymes:
Proteolytic enzymes metabolize proteins. They are naturally produced by our bodies to help perform essential functions. Studies have shown that these enzymes can reduce the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP), as well as arterial plaques, blood clots and scar tissue. They can also reducing swelling, pain and edema, and work to eliminate abnormal or cancerous growths or tumors.
2. Turmeric and Ginger:
These herbs provide powerful antioxidants that regulate the immune system by making sure it doesn’t overreact or damage weaker areas of the body. Taking large doses of these anti-inflammatory herbs has been shown to reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. Try to include these herbs in your daily diet too.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
Omega3s are powerful supplements that work to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation, which are often causes of chronic pain. Omega3s help to improve cell membrane receptor activity, and suppress genetic factors that lead to inflammation.
Make sure to get the long chain amino acids EPA and DHA that come from animals (fish, krill and pasture-raised meats). Plant based Omega3s don’t have the same effect on inflammation.
Chronic pain can be a sign of leaky gut syndrome or an infection in the gut. Parasites release toxins that increase inflammation within the body and can cause chronic pain. Probiotics help to neutralize these toxins and fight against an ailing gut, which in turn eliminates one of the potential causes of chronic pain. Probiotics also help the body better absorb key nutrients that are necessary for repairing bone and tissues.
5. MSM and Sulfur-Rich Foods:
MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) and sulfur-rich foods, including onions, garlic, chives, scallions, cruciferous vegetables, raw, grass-fed dairy cheese and whey protein can help reduce inflammation and pain. MSM and amino acids that contain sulfur can soften scar tissue, improve blood supply, reduce muscle spasms and modulate inflammation. Try to include these foods in your diet on a regular basis.
Magnesium helps relax our muscles by maximizing blood flow and allowing nutrients to be delivered to the cells. If your body doesn’t have enough magnesium, it can suffer from muscle spasms, cramping, poor blood flow and a low level of nutrient delivery between cells-all conditions that can cause pain. Try eating magnesium-rich foods like green leafy veggies, sprouted seeds and raw cacao to make sure you are getting enough of this critical nutrient.
7. Methylating Agents (Vitamin B):
Methylation is an essential biochemical process that goes on billions of times per second in our body to repair our DNA. Poor methylation can cause chronic inflammation and chronic pain, so consider taking a B vitamin supplement to relieve the symptoms. Why? Because B vitamins are the key to making sure methylation runs the way it should. They work to improve your gut health and help you absorb nutrients more efficiently. It’s also important to eat enough green, leafy vegetables and organic animal products.
- Chronic pain can be debilitating and difficult to treat. Many doctors just focus on treating the symptom, instead of looking at the underlying cause.
- Commonly prescribed pain medications can have long term side effects, including damaging our guts.
- Natural pain relievers can help treat pain without dangerous side effects.
- Jockers recommends proteolytic enzymes, turmeric and ginger, Omega 3, probiotics, MSM and sulfur rich foods, magnesium and Vitamin B for natural pain relief.
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