Should you use pharmaceutical drugs?
When you visit the doctor, it’s usually because you are experiencing some kind of pain. And while the goal is to find the problem behind your pain, you may also be looking for ways to lessen that pain.
Seeking pain relief is one of the most common reasons why people visit their physicians. And pain relief is incredibly important. While it won’t directly solve the health issue at hand, it can make life bearable for the patient.
Methods of pain relief have saved patient’s social and personal lives - they are able to get through the day in the face of a chronic or even terminal illness.
The benefits of pain relief are clearly positive. So, why then is pain relief contested today?
Continue reading and you will find out about the issues of pain relief methods, and what natural, healthy options may serve as great alternatives. We suggest CBD oil as a promising alternative to medication, but have listed some other approaches as well.
The opioid crisis & misuse of medication
While the opioid crisis is largely located in the U.S., narcotic prescription painkillers (another name for opioids) are used all over the world.
The opioid crisis has been accelerating at an astonishing rate. Due to government subsidization of opioids for pain relief, such as the drug OxyContin, the use of opioids has risen dramatically over the last ten years. 30,000 lives were lost in 2014 due to the use of opioids and heroin linked to medical pain relief. The use of opioids for pain relief has grown by 300 percent within the last decade.
And it doesn’t stop there. Since opioids are addictive, a patient’s tolerance to the drug strengthens overtime, making them need higher doses. Their source of pain may have stopped, but the addiction and reliance on opioids hasn’t. This leads the patient to spend incredible sums of money to supply their addiction, which also contributes to sustained poverty. Since the opioids are a medical product their price is greatly inflated, which makes patients seek other forms of the drug. And that option is usually heroin, a dangerous and lethal drug.
The state of the opioid crisis is a devastating reality. Why then has nothing been done?
The motivations behind the crisis
The reasons are a little complicated, but we will give you a quick rundown.
Basically, there has been a huge conflict of interest within the American healthcare system, Medicaid. The manufacturers of opioid drugs such as OxyContin have gotten their drugs subsidised by the government. That means that they have become one of the leading options for pain relief in the medical system. And this hasn’t happened because opioids are a good product, its because they are addictive and they know patients will seek and buy more. Purdue Pharma, one of the leading manufactures, is seen as the main culprit behind this scheme. Opioids were originally used for terminal diseases such as cancer, but are now being fed out to many patients for relatively low-impact pain.
The use of opioids should be limited to terminal illnesses as a method of short-term pain relief. It has been shown that opioids often lead to addiction and death instead of long-term health benefits.
So how should you manage your pain? It isn’t reasonable to throw out all methods of pain relief, nor is it to get addicted to opioids. We think that alternatives, such as CBD oil, can help.
We’ve listed some great, natural, non-addictive methods that might be able to mitigate your pain.
Why go with natural pain relief?
You’ve just learned about the dangers of narcotic prescription painkillers, but does that mean you have to go completely natural?
The answer is, yes. You should at least try natural methods before considering prescription options for pain relief, especially if your pain is long term, such as back pain. Even over-the-counter painkillers have some scary side-effects. Tylenol and many other pain relief pills contain the chemical Acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage and contributes to more than 80,000 emergency room visits a year!
Given the glaring dangers of these methods of pain relief, we recommend that you consider these natural options before using over-the-counter or opioid drugs.
Natural methods of pain relief
If you are seeking pain relief try out some of the methods below. While they are not guaranteed to help your pain, they could prevent you from needing to take medication.
Natural pain-fighting herbs
Many herbs have wonderful benefits, and some of them have been linked with pain relief. The great thing about these herbs are that even if you don’t get the pain relief you are looking for, you will benefit from their other qualities. A double win!
The herb has been used for a long time within many cultures, and is often praised for its pain relieving qualities and aid in digestion. With the help of modern science, a recent study shows greater evidence for its aid with muscle pain. Check out the study here.
You can incorporate ginger into your regimen very easily. From raw ginger in teas, curries, or smoothies, the options are endless and delicious!
Turmeric or Curcumin
Curcumin is a compound in the spice turmeric. The benefits of this compound have been shown to be pretty amazing. A recent study showed that “that a formulation of curcumin can relieve pain and increase mobility in patients with osteoarthritis” just as well as leading medical solutions. The compound also has great anti-inflammatory qualities which can contribute to overall health.
The benefits of cannabis, in the form of medical marajuana, has been blowing up recently. We’ve written many articles about the benefits of CBD, a form of cannabis that won’t get you ‘high’. The health risks of CBD are very low and have been proven to mitigate pain. You can read this article to learn about the long list of health benefits of CBD oil. Medical marajuana is becoming one of the most popular alternatives to medication and is a great way to manage both mental and physical pain. While the effects are not guaranteed, the side-effects are minimal and safe. Make sure that you find good quality CBD oil that is lab and quality tested.
This is one of our favorite natural options!
this herb has been used for its pain killing qualities a long time! Like centuries. It has been shown to relieve inflammation and muscle spasms. It has even been reviewed as a multipurpose medical agent and may be a great next step in your natural pain relief remedy.
There are many essential oils which may lead to pain and stress relief. Lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, evening primrose, black currant, and borage essential oils have calming and anti-inflammatory qualities that may be helpful with pain mitigation.
Or cayenne cream, like the pepper! works to de-functionalize nociceptive fibres, which weakens the transmission of pain pathways to your brain. This is a great method because you can easily apply the cream onto your pain area and provide localized relief. It is also completely safe!
Trying out different herbs isn’t the only way to approach natural pain relief. Many physical forms of pain relief work to both relieve and solve the problem. This is a great way to approach your pain because you might be able to get rid of the issue in the first place!
Not only does it feel amazing and boosts your mood, massage has been proven to reduce your pain. A recent study shows that massage therapy lessens pain more than no treatment. It was shown to help external pain as well as relieve headaches and body tension. Many hospitals have been incorporating massage therapy and clinics.
There's a reason why physical therapy is such a useful practice within sports health and medicine. Exercising your body under the guidance of a physical therapist can completely change your injuries, and can even work as well as surgery. This is an amazing option if you have joint pain or misalignment.
Keeping a healthy and strong body is essential to leading a healthy life. Yoga is a fantastic way to keep your body fit as well as practice alignment and mental strength. Calming and working your system allows for proper circulation which makes sure that blood flow is working well. Yoga can help mitigate the effects of a sedentary lifestyle and potentially ease or get rid of your pain.
An ancient Chinese method for restoring the “chi” in one’s total body. While it has been used for so long, there has been a lot of scepticism surrounding the practice. Yet there has been a lot of recent literature that suggests acupuncture has incredibly effective results. The side effects are virtually minimal and has a pretty high success rate. A reviewed study shows that patients experienced lowered pain compared to a placebo. Acupuncture can be used for chronic pain as well general malady.
Dietary and lifestyle habits
Leading a healthy lifestyle is always a great start for a pain-free life. While some pain cannot be remedied by a healthy body, such as some diseases or traumatic injuries. But, leading a healthy lifestyle can prevent a lot of causes of pain, and it can also help to lessen the pain after injury or disease. Here are some methods you can easily incorporate to lifestyle.
Low sugar and carb diet
Eating a lot of sugar and grains can really deplete your body’s resistance to insulin and other compounds, which leads to an inflamed system. Inflammation is a common cause of pain, so if you can prevent your sugar and carb intake a bit more you might experience significantly lowered pain.
The sun is good for you! (well the right amount, and with proper protection) so make sure you go outside. Getting vitamin D is incredibly important for your overall body function. When your body is able to circulate well it can address your pain and recovery quicker. You can do this by going into the sun more or taking the right vitamin D supplement.
This comes as no surprise. Exercise is an amazing tool for boosting your mental and physical health. It’s important to get your blood pumping so everything can circulate properly and cleanse your body.
Stress can incredibly manifest itself in your body and cause pain. While you might think you have an injury, it is important to check in with your mental health and stress levels. Practicing meditation is a great way to regulate your mental well being and to reflect on your habits. Taking time to find calmness may help you to breathe and reduce cortisol levels in your body, which can help refocus your body’s energy towards fighting your pain.
These healthy fats help to reduce inflammation because they create prostaglandins, agents which fight inflammation. It is important to supply your body with omega-3’s so that you can continue to fight inflammation and pain. You can get this from eating foods such as wild salmon, or by taking the right supplement.
The natural path to pain relief is the safest
When you are seeking pain relief, falling into greater illness is the last thing you want. That is why we have to be very, very wary of medication and especially narcotic prescription painkillers. We have created this list so you can take an honest look at your natural options. Although it might take some trying out, many of these methods have been shown to have great, and safe results!
Here at Organicha, we are a huge proponent of the benefits of CBD oil. CBD oil has been an amazing pain reliever for many patients, especially ones in chronic conditions. It can be used by many and is non-addictive, meaning you can stop taking it when the pain has subsided!
We recommend all of these methods, but talk to your doctor and make sure that you are applying these methods correctly. Anything must be done with moderation and awareness.