Natural Pain Relief


In 2011, hydrocodone was the most prescribed drug in America, according to WebMD.

The treatment of pain can be as complex as it is individual. Sometimes, pain medication is necessary. Other times, natural solutions are just as effective, if not more. The ideal situation is knowing there are options, and not heading straight for a pill because it’s all you think will work. In a recent newspaper article, a Nebraska State Patrol investigator called the abuse of prescription pain relief drugs an “epidemic” in the state. It’s worth knowing alternative options to pharmacuetical pain relief.
Acupuncture has been found through countless research, the latest published in the new york times, to be a true form of pain relief. The mechanisms behind acupuncture’s ability to relieve pain are complex, but are thought to be, in part, due to acupuncture’s interaction with the nervous system, and also its ability to release endorphins, serotonin and other natural pain-relieving chemicals within the body.
We have analysed over 40 studies on massage therapy and what we found is that there have been a group of benefits proven across all research papers:
  • reduction in pain (immediate and delayed)
  • reduction in depression and anxiety
  • reduction in stress hormone (cortisol)
  • reduction in heart rate
  • reduction in blood pressure
  • increased circulation
  • increased relaxation
  • increased feelings of well being
Click here for more information on massage therapy benefits.

Herbal Supplements

There are many, many herbal analgesics (pain relievers) which have been discovered. Too many to list, in fact. There are also many herbal complexes (a combination of individual herbs) on the market. Some are good. Others are not. We always draw on research to find out which are truly beneficial. For example:

Curcumin: If you’ve never heard of curcumin — the pigment that gives the curry spice turmeric its yellow-orange color — you’re in for a treat, as this is one natural compound that should be on your health radar. Both the ancient Chinese and Indian systems of medicine have recognized curcumin’s beneficial properties for thousands of years, and now modern research is showing it may be one of nature’s most powerful potential healers. Most notably, curcumin is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. The compound has been shown to influence more than 700 genes, and it can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipooxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory effects help to reduce irritation to tissues characterized by pain, redness, swelling and heat.

Arnica: Approved by the Comission E for external use in injury and accidents, arnica is another potent anti-inflammatory great for muscle and joint pain, strains, sprains, and bruises. The Comission E is a German governmental regulatory agency composed of scientists, toxicologists, physicians and pharmacists. It can be compared to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Inflavanoid Intensive Care: This is a Metagenics herbal complex we use regularly in the clinic for acute anti-inflammatory pain relief management. It includes curcumin, as mentioned before, as well as other herbal constituents which have been shown to rapidly reduce the enzymes involved in pain and inflammation.

Kaprex: This is a Metagenics herbal complex combining rosemary, hops and olive leaf we use regularly for the long-term management of anti-inflammatory pain relief. One study showed that blood was drawn from volunteers and tested for levels of PGE2 (an inflammatory marker). Results showed that Kaprex inhibited PGE2 production better than the leading anti-inflammatory drug. Kaprex was shown to reach peak effectiveness rapidly and maintain effectiveness for eight hours after dosing.

These are just a few of the natural pain relief options available to you. Find out more about how we address pain here or consult with one of our practitioners for more information.