The Case for a Natural Approach to Pain Relief
Nowadays, when someone experiences minor aches and pains, it’s possible to simply take over-the-counter (OTC) medications for quick relief. The modern customer has a lot of options, from paracetamol and ibuprofen to mefenamic acid and naproxen. Those who prefer not to take pills can use topicals like medicated patches or pain relief ointments.
Customers looking for nonmedical alternatives, however, can also safely turn to a variety of natural remedies. Oils, herbs, and other natural ingredients have been in use as analgesics for thousands of years, and have been shown to be useful—if not as effective—as pain-relieving drugs in many circumstances.
Natural pain relief products and a more natural method for treating pain both proffer several benefits. Below is a list of just a few of these, thus making the case for adopting a more natural approach to everyday pain relief.
While OTC pain relievers are available in practically any drugstore, there may still be times when you won’t have immediate access to them. What if you forget to replenish your medicines in your first aid kit, or what if the product you usually use isn’t immediately available? It may be possible to wait for a delivery, but it also helps to be resourceful and to treat ordinary pain with what’s immediately available.
In situations like these, natural remedies may do the trick. Coconut oil, for example, can be applied to the skin to reduce joint pain or pain from skin inflammation. Consumers would do well to find high-quality products that can serve multiple purposes, including natural pain relief.
Less Risk of Dependence
Most drugs are safe to use occasionally and at the right dosage, with zero or only minor side effects. However, someone who experiences chronic pain may end up taking pain medications more frequently and end up developing tolerance or dependence on them. Natural pain relief options, on the other hand, don’t pose the same risk.
Less Risk of Adverse Effects
Recent studies have highlighted the impact of the long-term use of OTC pain medications, with some revealing the potential of these drugs to increase the risk of both minor and serious health conditions. These include constipation, dry mouth, liver damage, stomach ulcers, kidney failure, stroke, and heart attacks. For pregnant women, some types of pain medications (such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids) can increase the risk of birth defects for their babies.
With natural alternatives, there isn’t as much to worry about with regard to adverse effects. Consumers should be most careful about allergies to ingredients like ginger, although these are rare overall. Excessive use of remedies like essential oils may cause irritation, asthma attacks, and other allergic reactions, but these can be avoided given prudent use of an essential oil product.
Greater Clarity When Targeting the Root Cause of the Pain
What makes pain relief medications so effective is that they work fast. By interrupting electrical signals or hormone production in the body, a pain-relieving drug can “trick” it into not feeling pain. Unfortunately, in most cases, this effect doesn’t do anything to address the root cause of the pain. This is why it’s often necessary to take pain medications at regular intervals so that you can experience consistent relief.
Meanwhile, natural pain relief options like physical therapy can help someone suffering from pain actually get to the bottom of the problem. Doing so brings them closer to a long-term solution for alleviating their pain, not to mention a personalized pain relief regimen that takes into account the unique factors that complicate their particular condition.
Additional Health Benefits
A natural approach to pain relief may also impart several holistic benefits to a person’s mental health and overall wellbeing. For example, meditation and yoga in tandem with natural pain relief methods can help a person be more mindful of their stressors and experience emotional as well as physical relief. An activity like yoga can also help improve posture and even trigger the release of “happy hormones” in the body, which can boost one’s mood and further reduce pain.
Meanwhile, plant-based remedies can provide other healthy benefits like antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some examples include ginger, turmeric, and capsaicin (the chemical that makes peppers hot or spicy).
Takeaway: Some Examples of Natural Ingredients for Pain Relief
Consumers can look to the following examples of natural ingredients and items to relieve ordinary pain:
- coconut oil
- various essential oils, like lavender, peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus
- bromelain, a mixture of enzymes found in pineapples
- Boswellia flower
Exercise and physical therapy can also do a lot to relieve pain, especially if the cause of pain is physical in nature (e.g. sports injuries and poor posture).
Modern medicine is wonderful and will continue to evolve alongside humankind’s technological and research capabilities. But in addition to pain relief drugs safely proffered by modern medicine, consumers can also address pain with tried-and-tested natural pain relief solutions.
If you’re a health and wellness advocate or run a business related to this niche, the following arguments can help you make a case for exploring a natural approach to pain relief. Just make sure to be responsible in your claims, to not be dishonest about what modern medicine can or can’t cure with regard to pain relief, and to defer to doctors and medical professionals when it comes to the treatment of pain related to particular health conditions.