The Unconventional Guide of Ways to Feel Better
In my continuous search of natural pain remedies, I am always on the lookout for ways to feel better. I am specifically talking about how to feel better in the fight against chronic pain. From which I suffer. I have found in my research, though, that many of the remedies for pain relief also give a person a better attitude. So, you get “two for the price of one”. Read on to find out what I have discovered.
One of the last things I feel like doing when I am in pain is to exercise. But it is an unconventional way to feel better. Plus, there is more and more research in this field about how exercise can help you feel better. Even if it hurts to move. I have pain in my buttock that I compare to sciatic pain. One woman stated that it was a challenge for her to walk because of the pain, but that she would rather be moving and in pain, than sitting and still be in pain. Especially if she could get outside and enjoy nature.
Read further to find out why.
When we put our body in motion, we start several systems working. Foremost among these is the release of endorphins. The way I understand this is that exercise releases endorphins into our body, and is transmitted to the brain. The endorphins act like a pain killer, not unlike morphine, to inhibit the pain signal.
You may have heard of the high that long distance runners experience. This is similar. But the bottom line is, if you exercise you will feel better. Not only with less pain, but with a better outlook. Now why would you not want that?
These chemicals have been linked to mood enhancement. Exercise increases concentrations of serotonin and norepinephrine. This leads to an uplifting mood or good mental health. These chemicals also enhance memory retention and learning. So your outlook will improve along with how your body feels.
Couch potatoes have a higher risk of joint pain. Lack of movement means more pain. Moving those joints increases the circulation of the synovial fluid which lubricates the joints. More lubrication; less pain. In addition exercise moves water away from the joints and brings more oxygen to the joints. Both add to a healthier joint.
As you are able to increase your exercise you will reap other benefits. Heart health comes to mind. Exercise strengthens the heart muscles and lowers blood pressure.
Weight loss is another side benefit to exercise. As is better sleep. There are also studies that show that women who exercise regularly reduce the risk of breast cancer from 20 – 80%.
Another benefit seems to be increased energy. I don’t know why this is; after all you are expending energy to exercise. But I have had personal experience where I feel more energy after I exercise.
Start With Just A Little
You may say right now, but I can’t exercise. I am in too much pain. I have been there. I could not get out of bed without experiencing terrible pain. I practically had to crawl to the bathroom. But over time, and with learning what works for me, I have come to a point that I can move almost normally.
I still have chronic pain, but it is manageable now. So even if you just move from the bed to a chair and do a few stretches, you are on your way to feeling better. This is what my life has come to at this point. I used to spend hours in the gym.
But now I have to be happy with ½ hour of stretches and maybe a short walk. I doubt I will get back to my former workouts, but that’s okay. I am thankful for what I can do.
What can you do? Can you push yourself just a little to feel better? And one more thing about exercising through the pain. When you focus on anything besides the pain, you feel better. So focus on the exercise. See if you don’t feel better!
Some Home Remedies To Try
You might have a few of these items in your house already, but didn’t realize they may help in your pain management. I have researched some of the popular ones for you to try.
This is actually a spice used in Asian cooking. It contains the chemical curcumin. There appears to be a connection between curcumin and inflammation reduction. If your pain is associated with inflammation (osteoarthritis) you may find some relief using this spice. There are capsule forms also. I have used the spice in warm water as well. Just drink it down. It is not an unpleasant taste. I have found some relief from this spice.
There is occasional indication that it can cause stomach upset in some people. For more information about turmeric see this article from WebMD.
As its name suggests, willow bark is taken from the bark of a willow tree. There is research that shows it was used in the time of Hippocrates where it was chewed to relieve pain. It contains the chemical salicine, which is similar to aspirin. Because of the similarities, there can be similar effects, such as reduction in pain, fever and inflammation and side effects such as stomach upset and blood thinning. I found another article from WebMD for this information.
Called a salt because of the chemical structure, when dissolved in warm water it dilutes to sulfate and magnesium. The understanding is that the magnesium is absorbed into the skin, and reduces swelling and inflammation. This has not been proven, but just the activity of soaking in warm water helps to relax muscles and joints, so there is relief pain. It should not be ingested. More information at WebMD.
I use Dr. Teal’s with lavender to soak in the evening. Not only do I gain some muscle relief, but the lavender aromatherapy helps to relax me.
Bone broth contains collagen. As we age, we have less. This collagen protein is essential in joint health. The collagen is like a cushion that assists the joint to work easier. The collagen is produced by simmering bones to create the broth. There are other benefits to bone broth including boosting the immune system. Use this link to learn more, and for a bone broth recipe from Dr. Axe.
This extract has poisonous qualities, so use with care. There is evidence that rubbing the extract into the lower back can relieve pain. Another link to WebMD will provide more information.
I have a complete article on Omega fish oil. See this link. Although research is inconclusive, I have found some relief. See my article here.
I personally do not have any experience with this as of yet. But I wanted to include it because I heard a testimonial from a mother of a daughter who had found some miraculous relief from her fibromyalgia.
I need to spend more time investigating this alternative. But to hear this story of how the daughter suffered for over a year, and then was helped by this Naturopathic doctor is worth checking out. If you are in the eastern LA county area, the office she visited was Integrative Natural Health, in Claremont, CA. Click on their name for a link to their website. Their website is very informative with background about the philosophy and what to expect.
I’d especially like to hear back from you if you visit them and tell me about your experience. Or if you have had experience with this alternative option.
I read an article that claims that pets may help older adults (that’s me) manage pain. I can’t afford a pet right now, but I know there is research about how calming it is when you pet a dog or a cat. I believe being around animals is just good for you period. But if pets can help with managing pain, all the better! Here’s the link if you want to see the article. I would love to hear about stories you might have of how your pet helped you.
I have a complete article here regarding the benefits of sleep and how to get better sleep. I recommend you check it out. Sleep gives your body a break from the pain, and repairs broken parts. If you are like me, you probably push yourself too hard. I recommend you work on getting more sleep. You should notice the benefits immediately.
I want very much to know if this article was helpful to you. Any feedback is welcome. If there are improvements I could make to this information, I would like to know about them.
I am not a doctor and do not claim that any of these remedies are cures. But I am a pain sufferer. I continue to search for relief for myself and in so doing, hope that something here can provide pain relief for you as well.