Chronic pain is a modern day epidemic that affects more than 1.5 billion people worldwide. It costs nations billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical expenses – every year. Debilitating pain effects more individuals than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined.
Unfortunately, doctors throw drug after drug at these pain syndromes with very little long-term success. Here are some of the best natural agents to reduce pain.
The most commonly used drugs to treat chronic pain conditions include, opioids (morphine), nonsteroids (salicylates such as aspirin and ibuprofen), antidepressants, antiepileptics and anti-nerve growth factor inhibitors. All of these drugs have awful side effects and addictive tendencies. In fact, prescription and over-the-counter pain medications are the fastest growing drug addiction in North America.
The dangers of pain medications
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are some of the most commonly prescribed and utilized medications throughout the world. These medications such as aspirin and Tylenol are easy to get and inexpensive. Most people believe they aren’t harmful, however, they are linked with very serious side effects.
Surprising, to most people, NSAIDs have been shown to damage the stomach lining leading to reduced protein absorption and a much greater increase for food allergens and stomach ulcers. They also damage the kidneys and liver and increase the risk of certain forms of cancer.
Many individuals perceive surgery as the best modality for their health issues and sometimes it is. However, research has indicated that nerve damage, unavoidably produced during a surgical operation, will cause chronic pain in 15 – 50 percent of patients. Other individuals are severely damaged by treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation that cause states of increased inflammation and pain.
Conventionally-trained physicians avoid the obvious question
Addressing the underlying mental – emotional, chemical and physical stressors that are causing the chronic inflammation and pain is the ultimate goal. This process takes time and deep introspection – usually with the help of your trusted (holistic) healthcare provider. Here are some great natural pain relievers that have no dangerous side effects.
In fact, these nutrients have a significantly positive health effect on the entire body.
The top ten (all-natural) pain relievers
Proteolytic Enzymes – are specific enzymes that metabolize protein. These enzymes are naturally produced by the human body and other living organisms and help carry out essential functions. Studies have shown that these reduce the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP) as well as arterial plaques, blood clots and scar tissue.
These enzymes are also effective at reducing swelling, pain and edema. Proteolytic enzymes are also able to eat away at abnormal and cancer cell growths and allow the immune system to destroy tumorous growths.
Turmeric, ginger and boswelia – taking large doses of anti-inflammatory herbs has been shown to dramatically reduce pain, swelling and inflammation. These herbs provide powerful anti-oxidants and help modulate the immune system to ensure that it doesn’t hyper-inflame the damaged or vulnerable regions of the body.
Omega-3 fatty acids and astaxanthin – omega-3 fatty acid supplements and astaxanthin reduce inflammation. Omega-3’s help provide better cell membrane receptor activity – while astaxanthin provides a very strong antioxidant effect that combine to reduce inflammation and pain.
Probiotics – Chronic pain is often a sign of leaky gut syndrome and infections in the gut. Parasites will release toxins that increase inflammation within the body and for many individuals cause states of chronic pain. Probiotics help to neutralize these toxins and fight back against parasites and other antagonistic organisms in the gut.
MSM and sulfur-rich foods such as, onions, garlic, chives, scallions, cruciferous vegetable family and raw, grass-fed dairy cheese and whey protein help reduce inflammation. MSM and sulfur containing amino acids have been shown to soften scar tissue, improve blood supply to the affected region, reduce muscle spasms and modulate inflammation.
Magnesium plays a critical role in relaxing muscles, maximizing blood flow and allowing nutrients to be delivered into cells. Magnesium deficiencies lead to muscle spasms, cramping, poor blood flow and lowered intracellular nutrient delivery. All of these create painful conditions in the body.
Supplementing with magnesium and/or eating magnesium rich foods like, green leafy veggies, sprouted seeds and raw cacao improves these conditions.
And, let’s not forget those “methylating agents” which are the key biochemical process that happens billions of times – every second – to repair the DNA in the body. B vitamins are the key components to healthy methylation processes. Consider taking a whole-food B complex supplement to improve your gut health and absorb these nutrients more effectively.
It is also key to eat lots of dark, green leafy vegetables and organic animal products to get these nutrients.
About the author: Dr. David Jockers owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Ga. He is a Maximized Living doctor. His expertise is in weight loss, customized nutrition & exercise, & structural corrective chiropractic care. For more information – visit: DrJockers.com. Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance phone consultations to help you beat disease and reach your health goals.