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willow barkFor people living with chronic pain, the thought of taking painkillers every day for the rest of their lives is unappealing at best; at worst they fear becoming addicted. For chronic pain sufferers who would like alternatives to relieving chronic pain, these are some natural home remedies that have proven to be effective.

  1. Consume Willow Bark

If inflammation is the cause of your chronic pain, you should consider using willow bark.  Willow bark reduces inflammation, this is due to a chemical it contains which is similar to the main ingredient in aspirin. Many Whole Foods stores sell dried willow bark which you can brew as a tea. An alternative option is to purchase willow bark capsules or liquid supplements.

People who suffer from chronic pain associated with headaches, low back pain, and osteoarthritis commonly use willow bark to relieve their pain.  However, it is important to note that willow bark may upset your stomach, affect your kidney function, or prolong bleeding over time like aspirin does. Children and people who are sensitive to aspirin or who are taking other anti-inflammatory medications or anticoagulant treatments should not take willow bark.

  1. Soak in a Tub

If you have nerve pain in your feet, soaking them in warm water can help. Similarly, soaking your entire body in a warm bath is a proven way to treat nerve pain, aching joints, and painful muscles because the warm water increases blood flow and eases stress. A soak in a warm tub reduces pain, loosens joints, and has lasting effects long after you dry off. Other benefits of sitting in a warm tub include taking pressure off the joints, providing 360-degree support for sore extremities, and reducing swelling and inflammation.

Most people see maximum results after approximately 20 minutes in a warm tub. It’s key to get the water temperature just right: too hot can stress your heart, and too cool will not provide pain relief. Ideal temperatures are between 92 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit. While soaking, do some gentle stretching. If you back hurt, place a tennis ball between the small of your back and the back or bottom of the tub and roll against it to ease knotted muscles. After you get out of the tub, do some stretching because your muscles will be warm and loose from the soak.

Some chronic pain sufferers optimize the benefits of a warm bath by adding salts or essential oils to the water. Epsom salts help support bone and heart health because they contain magnesium. It is not recommended to use Epsom salts every day, but occasional use will benefit your health. As for essential oils, adding them to your bath can increase your level of relaxation, decrease your level of stress, and reduce your pain. A mixture of lavender oil, peppermint oil, citrus oil, clove oil, and jojoba oil can increase blood circulation, numb the pain temporarily, and rejuvenate you.

  1. Eat Immune-Boosting Foods that Reduce Inflammation

Some foods are known for their immune-boosting powers.  A healthy immune system combats inflammation and minimizes pain, thus eating these types of foods could be a great natural way to reduce chronic pain. For example, eating anti-inflammatory herbs such as turmeric, ginger, and Boswellia helps regulate the immune system and reduce pain, swelling, and inflammation.

Along those same lines, eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps reduce inflammation to combat pain. Consider adding nuts and seeds to your breakfast or fish to your dinner. Some of the top omega-3 foods include mackerel, salmon, walnuts, chia seeds, herring, flaxseeds, tuna, white fish, sardines, hemp seeds, anchovies, and egg yolks.

  1. Drink More Water

The health benefits of water are well documented. Make water your go-to beverage.   Remember to drink tea, coffee, and juice in moderation. To reap all of the benefits of drinking water, filter your tap water and keep it cold if you prefer or at room temperature ready for you to drink. Drinking water can also help you lose weight.  Shedding pounds relieves pain because it eases the stress and strain on your joints and back. Water also aids in digestion, which keeps your immune system operating well enough to reduce inflammation. Furthermore, water combats dehydration, which negatively impacts your mood and leads to headaches and kidney issues. Another benefit is that it helps reduce chronic pain since it lubricates the cartilage around the joints and protects the spinal cord and tissues.

Managing your chronic pain with the help of home remedies can help you stay in control of your pain and also help you avoid becoming addicted to prescription painkillers. To reduce your pain, try consuming willow bark, soaking in a warm tub, eating foods that reduce inflammation, and drinking more water.

 

Article courtesy of: Jackie Waters

Image via Pixabay by Couleur