What natural pain relievers can I use for my neck and back pain?
Offering patients approaches to help themselves when unable to consult with a Chiropractor for Chiropractic care, is an important part of a Chiropractors work. Most Chiropractors have found throughout their career, that teaching patients techniques to better self-manage their symptoms, gets them on the road to recovery a lot quicker and speeds up their response time when participating in a course of Chiropractic care.
These are some of the top natural pain relievers that have been found to be the most effective:
- Gentle movement gets endorphins pumping. This powerhouse of a hormone is released by the brain whenever you move about. It acts like an opioid and blocks the body’s perception of pain. It doesn’t have to be rigorous movement, but something gentle, like walking, just to get those endorphins starting to flow
- Get some sun on yourself. Just 15 minutes of sun exposure (on an area of skin that doesn’t have sunscreen on it) produces Vitamin D. Vitamin D has been shown to not only improve your mood and boost your immune system, but plays a part in decreasing chronic pain.
- Soaking in a tub of warm water with a cup of Epsom Salts dissolved in it does wonders for achy muscles and some arthritic conditions.
- Not keen on a warm soak? Well, a heat pack will do a similar job to ease those aches. Be sure to temperature check the heat pack before placing it onto your skin, especially if you have decreased sensation in that area.
- Stretch those muscles. Inflammation builds up in the muscles overlying the injured area. Gentle stretching (when appropriate) can loosen the area up and increase the flexibility of the ligaments and tendons along with the muscles.
- Meditation and guided imagery. If you have never tried it before, it might be something you may want to explore. The idea behind this is to build new neural pathways in the brain. Letting your mind focus on other things other than your physical pain, builds new patterns and habits. You don’t need to ‘clear your mind’ or chant (unless you prefer a practice like that). You can quite simply become aware. Sit or lie comfortably in a quiet space and just become aware of your senses, one at a time. What can you hear? Now, what smells can you pick up? Which ones are the most prevalent? Which are the most subtle? The internet has many wonderful resources to help you further if you need.
- Anti-inflammatories – in food. Nature has given many natural anti-inflammatories that we can pack into our diet. Foods high in components like Omega-3’s, anti-oxidants and polyphenols are all great sources. Some examples of these are fatty fish (salmon, sardines), tomatoes, berries, leafy green vegetables, nuts, olive oil and turmeric are all easily available to most of us and easily incorporated in our daily diet.
- Get enough sleep. This is when the body does most of its repair and restorative work. If you don’t allow the time for this, your body cannot start to heal itself adequately. This is where guided imagery and meditation could also work, especially if your pain is preventing you from sleeping well.
With these guidelines, one can self-manage until in a position to seek appropriate help.
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We service the greater part of Northern and Western Johannesburg; areas include Randpark Ridge, Northcliff, Fairlands, Cresta, Weltevreden Park, Honeydew, North Riding, Sundowner, Eagle Canyon, Little Falls and Radiokop to name but a few.
226 Dale Lace Avenue
(entrance in Rooihout Ave)
Randpark Ridge, Randburg
Republic of South Africa
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