Understanding pain and how to manage it
Would you know which natural pain relief options are available for differing types of injuries and conditions?
You wouldn’t be alone. Knowing which methods and remedies will offer the best natural pain relief for you to choose from can feel like a minefield. Making it hard for you to decide and decipher which ones will offer you the best relief.
Let’s take a look at 4 common injuries and conditions and look at what types of natural pain relief methods and remedies are out there on the market and what they are used for;
1) Lower back pain
Signs and symptoms: You may suffer from stiffness in your lower back, a reduced range of motion, pain whilst sleeping and discomfort near your tailbone.
Facts and figures: Did you know that lower back problems are one of the most common reasons for missed work? And that the majority of backpain is caused by irritation and inflammation? The main causes of lower back problems are due to injury, posture, obesity, lifestyle choices and illness.
Stretches to aid natural pain relief:
Firstly, lie flat and gently pull your right knee towards your chest and hold the stretch for a few seconds. Then repeat on the left side.
Secondly, again whilst lying flat raise both knees towards your chest. Hug your knees towards your body and tilt your knees to the right side of your body and then again to the left-hand side.
Lastly is the cat-cow stretch. Start on your hands and knees. Your hands should be below your shoulders whilst your knees need to be beneath your hips. As you inhale you curl your toes under, tilt your pelvis back, allow your belly to drop down and finally you raise your eyes towards the ceiling. (Cat Stretch)
On exhaling you create the cow part of the stretch by pulling in your toes, tipping your pelvis forward, tucking in your tailbone and squeezing in your belly. Finally drop your head and gaze. Repeat this exercise several times naturally in-keeping with your breath.
Bridging: You need to again be lying flat with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands to your side. Keeping your feet on the floor, squeeze your glutes and gently raise them and your knees up towards the ceiling. Hold for 2-3 seconds and then gently release to the floor.
Pelvic tilts: Lying on your back with your back flat, and with a small cushion or book underneath your head, bend you knees and keep your feet straight and hip-width apart. Tuck your chin in, tense your stomach muscles and flatten your back. Next tilt your pelvis towards your heels until you feel a gentle arch in your lower back. Return to your start position and repeat slowly for around 15 times.
Supplements: Not only used in curry to give it its yellow colour, turmeric is an effective nutritional supplement with medicinal properties. Known to contain curcuminoids turmeric’s most advantageous and main active ingredient is called curcumin. Curcumin itself contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
2) Knee pain
Signs and symptoms: Can range from swelling and stiffness, redness and warmth to the touch, weakness or instability.
Facts and figures: Did you know millions of people suffer with knee pain every year? It can affect all age groups and can be as a result of injury, mechanical problems or other medical conditions such as arthritis.
Stretches for natural pain relief:
Wall calf stretch: Standing approximately arm’s length from the wall place your right foot against the wall. The heel of the foot should be on the floor whilst the ball of the foot should be against the wall. Straighten the back leg until you begin to lean in on the wall. Hold for 20 seconds and release. Repeat on the other leg.
Quad roller stretch: Myofascial release helps to relieve pain and restore motion. Placing your body in a plank position with your forearms, place the roller between your quads. Then roll the roller from quads to hips paying particular attention and pausing when reaching areas of pain. Repeat up to 10 times.
Straight leg raises: Sit or lie down with your legs in front of you. Bend the right leg whilst keeping the other leg straight and stretched. Raise the straight leg around 6 inches off the floor and hold for 2-3 seconds. Gently lower and repeat on the other side. Repeat up to 10 times.
Exercises: Foam rolling and straight leg raises help to keep injury at bay and stimulate recovery. Recommended by physiotherapists these exercises aid relief from tension and soothes sore muscles.
Modify your exercises accordingly to your knee pain but unless advised by a professional it is important to remember to still exercise to strengthen your muscles and to encourage flexibility.
3) Shoulder pain
Signs and symptoms: For conditions such as tendon and bursa inflammation in the shoulder you may experience pain and stiffness in the shoulder, or even pain radiating up to your neck, when lifting or lowering your arm, reaching behind your back, or even causing you to be woken in your sleep.
Facts and figures: Did you know that 1 in 4 of the population will suffer from shoulder pain? Did you know tendon and bursa inflammation causing shoulder pain can affect anyone who might otherwise be healthy as the causes are common and can be sudden?
Age, Posture, repetitive activities, underlying health conditions, overuse of the muscles or excess stress on the muscles can be some of the causes leading to shoulder pain.
Stretches to try to aid natural relief to shoulder pain:
Arm across the chest: Place the right arm across your chest, stretch gently and hold in place with your left hand for 30-50 seconds. Repeat on the other side and do this exercise 3-5 times.
Door lean: Stand at arm’s length from your door handle. Hold the handle and gradually move backwards and lean into the stretch.
Door press: You can also use the door frame to stretch by standing with your back to the door frame. And by placing your hands either side of the frame. Push your hands into the door frame and lean forwards.
Exercise: Alleviate pain and aid strength by also trying lawnmower pulls and reverse fly.
Lawnmower pulls: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the dumbbell in your left hand. Squat and rotate your body whilst bringing up the dumbbell in your left hand. Bring towards your right foot. Stand up and raise the dumbbell towards your left shoulder. Repeat on the other side.
Reverse fly: You can sit, stand or lie down for this exercise and use dumbbells if you wish. To perform whilst lying down you need to face the floor, hold the dumbbells in each hand and lift slowly behind you towards your shoulders. Stop when you feel a pinch and bring them back down. Repeat.
Supplements: Grown in warm climates ginger is more than its spicy kick. Offering natural pain relief, aiding inflammation reduction and swelling.
4) Joint discomfort
Signs and symptoms: Can be Fatigue, joint pain, joint swelling, joint warmth.
Facts and figures: Did you know that around 1 in 3 people will suffer with joint pain and it is extremely common, especially as we increase with age. It can affect any part of your body ranging from your feet, ankles, hands and shoulders.
Stretches for joint discomfort:
Piriformis: You can perform this stretch on a chair, sitting on the floor or lying down. Try sitting on the floor with your legs stretched out in front of you. Arch your back and slightly move your chest forwards. Lift your right ankle and place across your left knee. Hold for around 20 seconds and then repeat on the other side.
Plant powered solution: Sigesbeckia is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries in many countries around the world to relieve wide-ranging musculoskeletal pain, including backache, rheumatic pain, joint and muscle pain, with no known side-effects.
Offering natural pain relief, and known to have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As well as helping to improve your immune system and joint mobility.
Exercise: Important for us all as it helps to increase strength and flexibility and reduces joint pain.
None of us know when injury or pain will strike. But if in the event it does you want to find yourself with a broad range of information about what you can try in order to reduce pain and aid healing.
Natural pain relief remedies help with your recovery and reduce pain to many injuries and conditions. Finding alternative remedies and supplements to reduce your symptoms needn’t be an unwanted headache.