What do you reach for when you have back or neck pain, joint pain, or just an overall achy feeling? If it’s aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, it may be time for a change (or at least a quick read of this article for some natural pain relief alternatives).
Although over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers are extremely popular and affordable, they also carry with them some side effects that can be avoided. Instead, try one of these natural and effective pain-relieving alternatives that have the scientific research to back them up!
Why it’s best to skip OTC painkillers
- Aspirin has long been linked to gastrointestinal problems and ulcers as well as hemorrhage and stroke. Some forms have even been found to be toxic to the liver.
- Ibuprofen is another NSAID (non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug) that is known for side effects such as nausea and dizziness, hypertension, DNA damage, hearing loss, and miscarriage.
- Synthetic drugs may offer fast pain relief, but they also carry numerous side effects that you can do without if you choose a natural solution.
Five natural pain relievers to use as your go-to
If you’ve ever studied natural health, you know that there are many herbs and spices that can help reduce inflammation, which is the cause of most aches and pains. Here are our top natural pain relievers to add to your arsenal of pain-relieving tips and tricks.
Turmeric is known for its bright yellow-orange color. It’s also known for being a powerful herb and supplement that helps fight inflammation thanks to its curcumin levels. In fact, many of turmeric’s benefits stem from its rich source of curcuminoids, which are special molecules with profound anti-inflammatory and healing effects.
Studies show that the curcumin found in turmeric helps modulate the inflammatory NF-kB pathway which is often triggered by issues like long-standing inflammation, weak immunity, chronic pain, and chronic disease.
Some of the other health benefits turmeric offers include:
- acts a powerful antioxidant
- helps improves arthritis and joint pain
- improves heart health
- linked to increased brain health
- helps fight depression and mood swings
- can improve skin health
- improves digestion
- and so much more
Turmeric also offers a range of vitamins and minerals such as manganese, iron, and vitamin C.
If you’re looking for a quality source of Turmeric, try out Mobility from Aceva. Featuring 600 mg of turmeric root extract and 570 mg of curcuminoids, Mobility helps improve overall joint function throughout your body by naturally reducing inflammation and pain. Mobility is also formulated with BioPerine®, which enhances ingredient bioavailability and makes it fast-acting with longer-lasting results.
#2: Willow Bark
People have been using willow bark to help ease inflammation for centuries. Because its powerful benefits have been tried and tested for years, we’ve upgraded from chewing on the bark itself to relieve pain and fevers to being able to get it as a dried herb you can brew in tea or take as a supplement.
Willow bark works similarly to aspirin in many ways as it contains salicin, which is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin. Because of this, willow bark is not generally recommended to give to kids under age 16 but the risks and side effects overall are minimal and it is recognized as a safe, natural option for pain relief.
Studies have shown that willow bark is effective at reducing back pain. Willow bark also appears to be effective at helping ease fever, menstrual pains, and joint pain. In addition to turmeric, Aceva’s Mobility also contains 150 mg of willow bark extract, adding to its pain-relieving powers.
#3: Ice and Heat
This tip may seem obvious, but ice and heat are your friends when it comes to relieving pain. But how does it work exactly? Which one do you use and for how long? And should you switch back and forth?
First, let’s talk about ice. You should use ice right after an injury or at the onset of pain because it helps reduce inflammation and swelling. It can be in the form of ice packs, coolant sprays, ice massage, and ice baths. To use ice therapy, wrap a towel around the ice pack before placing it directly on the skin. You should only do short bursts (10-15 minutes) of ice treatments at a time. Do not use cold therapy on stiff muscles or joints or if you have poor circulation.
Next up is heat therapy. Once the inflammation disappears, heat is your best course of action because it can help reduce muscle pain and stiffness. Heat therapy works by increasing circulation and blood flow to a particular area where it can help relax and soothe muscles and heal damaged tissues.
If you’re trying to calm joint pain, moist heat like a steamed towel or a hot bath should be your go-to. But you can also use dry heat sources such as heating pads if needed. Always aim for warm as opposed to hot and never use heat therapy on an open wound.
Because heat therapy is more gentle, you can use it for a longer period of time. A 15-20 minutes session typically is all you need to get relief, however, if you’re in severe pain, you could do a warm bath session of up to two hours!
Acupuncture is also well known for helping relieve pain naturally. By placing tiny, thin needles into your skin at the source of the pain, acupuncture helps balance your body’s qi (CHEE) and encourages it to release serotonin, which is your “happy hormone” that helps ease pain symptoms.
#5: Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care is another great natural pain reliever. In fact, the American College of Physicians lists chiropractic care as one of the alternatives to pain-relieving drugs for low back pain, recommending a combination of spinal manipulation along with heat, massage, and acupuncture.
Chiropractic care can also help you with exercises and stretches that strengthen the area affected as well as increase mobility. By correcting the source of the pain, chiropractic helps you get the most effective, lasting pain relief possible.
Want to know more about natural pain relievers?
Ask your local AlignLife chiropractor about how they can help! Chiropractic care can provide you with pain relief from low back pain, neck pain, sinus pressure, headaches, and more. Also, be sure to ask how you can get your bottle of Mobility. You can even try risk-free with Aceva’s 90-day money-back guarantee.