Stop loading on painkillers and choose from nature’s bounties to fight pain. Prolonged use of painkillers and antacids can tamper with your health in more ways than one. Why not instead, choose goodies from nature’s basket, to curb pain, naturally.
Athletes often joke about relying on “vitamin I,” aka ibuprofen, to get through the aches and pains of training. But they’re not the only ones who depend on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain relief. Every day, more than 30 million Americans take NSAIDs like ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen for everything from headaches, muscle cramps, and sport injuries to chronic conditions like arthritis, neuropathy, and back pain.
Much of the pain we feel comes from inflammation–a defensive response that causes tissues to swell and amplifies the signal from pain nerves–so reaching for an anti-inflammatory makes perfect sense. NSAIDs do block inflammation-causing enzymes and lower pain. But unfortunately, they come with some pretty serious side effects. With regular use, NSAIDs raise the risk of ulcers, bleeding in the stomach, strokes, heart attack, and kidney damage–in part, by interfering with important, hormone-like compounds called prostaglandins. “I wouldn’t take them on a regular basis for more than a few months, if at all,” says Jonathan Wright, MD, medical director of the Tahoma Clinic in Washington. “Some individuals might even see adverse effects after just a few days.”
No need to grin and bear it though. Nature has provided an array of effective, yet gentle, remedies that decrease inflammation and soothe pain–letting you say bye-bye to vitamin I.
Nearly 1 in 12 injured workers who were prescribed narcotic painkillers still were on the drugs three to six months later, according to a new report on worker’s compensation claims.
The report also found that drug testing and psychological evaluation, two measures designed to reduce abuse of the drugs, were not being done most of the time.
The study, which looked at 300,000 worker’s compensation claims in 21 states, including Wisconsin, highlights how doctors often don’t follow treatment recommendations for long-term monitoring of injured workers who receive opioid pain medications. It comes at a time when doctors and regulators are reassessing the use of narcotic painkillers as a long-term treatment for chronic pain.
“These results ring true for me,” said Mark Sullivan, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle.He said implementation of the recommendations for opioid therapy among primary care doctors is very spotty.
Sullivan, who was not involved in the study, said it is difficult to implement drug testing and psychological evaluation safeguards in a busy primary care practice unless doctors are given support from their clinics. The study also highlights a serious problem with long-term use of opioids to treat chronic pain, said Andrew Kolodny, a New York psychiatrist and addiction specialist who was not involved in the study. Often, the drugs don’t help in improving pain or day-to-day function long-term, yet patients stay on the drugs.
“There are workers who get these pills and go home and spend the whole day on the sofa,” said Kolodny, president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing. “Most addiction experts would call that addiction.” The report, which was done by the Workers Compensation Research Institute, also looked at 1.1 million prescriptions filled through March 31, 2011. The claims involved work injuries that did not include surgery.
The study addresses the serious issue of how often doctors follow treatment recommendations for monitoring workers who are put on long-term opioid therapy, Richard Victor, executive director of the institute, said in a statement. It should help public officials, employers and others understand how to help workers while reducing costs and avoiding risks to patients, he said. Wisconsin fared better than most of the 21 states in the report. About 4% of injured workers were identified as long-term users of opioids, compared with a median of 7%.
Few natural painkillers..
- Echinacea ,Honey suckle, White willow bark and feverfew
Target : GENERAL PAIN – Headache and menstrual pain
- Yogurt: Commonly known as dahi or curd
Target: Stomach problems
- Cherries: Look for red, fresh and firm ones
Target: Muscle pain
- Ginger: Load up on this versatile root
Target: Migraines, sore muscles
- Herbal tea: Switch the caffeine for these antioxidant rich tea
- Fishes: Tunas and mackerels, choose fresh ones
Target: Achy back, joints
Target : The connection of the immune system, the brain and all other organ systems
Target : heart disease and inflammation.
- Lavender,Thyme, Mint (Not to be given to children under 3 years and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers):
Target : BACK PAIN AND HEADACHES
- Boswellia, Also known as frankincense :
Target : rheumatoid arthritis.
- Arnica ,This centuries-old remedy comes from the bright yellow arnica flower, which grows in the alpine meadows of Europe.
Target : osteoarthritis
- Curcumin ,Often called the “spice of life,” turmeric contains the compound curcumin .
Target : blocks inflammatory proteins, but also enhances the body’s ability to quell inflammation .
- Omega-3 fatty acids:
Target : long-term pain reduction,
Target : provide much pain relief
- Devil’s claw , is a hard fruit covered with sharp little hooks
Target : back pain and arthritis.