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Living with a chronic pain condition can feel like you are stuck in groundhog day. Managing your pain levels to allow you to live a normal life can take a lot of trial and error, not to mention various medications, natural or prescribed.
Chronic pain is described as pain that persists after 12 weeks despite medication or treatments. For some people, pain can persist long after recovery from an illness or injury. There are many health conditions that people live with, which cause chronic pain, such as Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, Migraines, Endometriosis, Multiple Sclerosis, to name a few.
People living with chronic pain will experience a wide range of symptoms and differing pain levels that cannot be cured by traditional methods and will often be lifelong. Some people choose to look for more natural ways to alleviate pain to reduce their reliance on traditional pain medication if possible or to supplement different treatments and therapies they may be undertaking.
Living with chronic pain is not just painful. The unrelenting nature of living this way can have a detrimental effect on your mental health and physical health. Many people find they experience widespread fatigue that isn’t relieved by sleep. Mental and physical exhaustion day in, day out can take its toll, and as such, it is vital to consider your mental health alongside your physical health too.
If you are looking for more natural ways to help you manage your pain levels and mental health, there are many tried and tested ways you can look after your physical and mental health.
Natural Pain Relief
Adding natural pain relief remedies to your daily routine can help your body alleviate some pain with careful and ongoing use. Usually taken in the form of supplements or added to foods, many herbs and spices can come with pain-relieving properties. Turmeric, Willow Bark, Cloves all contain properties that can be used for pain management.
It is important to remember that these need to be taken carefully and may only be suitable for specific pain types. Willow Bark, for example, is unsuitable for children of those taking NSAIDs or anticoagulants.
Other essential oils that can help alleviate pain are;
- Lavender – to help reduce anxiety, sleep better and reduce inflammation
- Rosemary – can help to reduce headaches and muscle and bone pain
- Peppermint – to help with arthritic pain and potentially headaches
- Eucalyptus – can help reduce swelling, inflammation and pain
- Ginger – can help with muscle pain and nausea.
Please be aware that some of these oils can cause allergic reactions. Always check they are suitable for the person who will be using them before adding your daily therapies.
CBD can come in many different forms and in differing levels and strengths to allow you to experiment with CBD topicals if taking a dosage of CBD oil orally isn’t for you. Using a CBD Topical Cream to apply to your skin, gummies to ingest, drinks to make it easier to consume, such as added to water or even in baked goods.
CBD is used in the treatment of aches, pains associated with chronic pain conditions or inflammation.
The long-term traditional Chinese method of pain relief. Acupressure is the art of putting fine needles into your skin at specific pressure points and allowing them to release the pressure and encourage blood flow to the area to encourage healing. Acupuncture can work on most parts of the body and must be carried out by a trained therapist to avoid harm or injury.
Treatment options can be expensive, especially if you need to make frequent visits. You can buy acupressure mats for the home, which can give you the same results temporarily. An acupressure mat is a small padded mat covered in hundreds of small circular spikes that press into your skin when you apply your body to the mat.
The spikes do not puncture the skin. Instead, they cause the blood to rush to the pressure points, and with regular use, the mat can help you gain temporary pain relief from certain types of pains. This type of therapy is useful for those living with Fibromyalgia as it can help muscles relax and encourage sleep.
For some people, the act of movement can cause added pain, making exercises a complete no go when it comes to alleviating pain. Depending on your physical health and specific pain, you may find that certain exercise types can be beneficial.
Swimming can be highly beneficial to those suffering from arthritic conditions. It allows you to move with the water supporting your weight and removing added pressure on your bones and joints. Yoga and Pilates can help you move your body in a more specific way to aid suppleness and flexibility and help you relax and remove tension from your body.
Walking at any pace can help you stay mobile and get some exercise into your day.
Sleep and chronic fatigue are two things that seemingly cancel each other out. Despite being exhausted, most people living with chronic pain struggle to get any decent quality sleep. That is to say that their sleep is unrefreshing and does nothing to help reduce the fatigue they experience daily.
Many medications can interfere with sleeping patterns, and as such many people are looking for more natural ways to induce sleep.
A good start is to try and create an atmosphere that encourages sleep as much as possible. Small changes include having the bedroom at the ideal sleeping temperature, reducing artificial lighting and limiting screen time use in bed. Establishing a consistent bedtime routine can also help you to get in the right mindset for sleep.
If you are looking for more natural sleeping aids, there are a few things you can try.
Magnesium has sleep-inducing properties and can help reduce insomnia, as can using CBD products. Lavender is known for its calming properties and is frequently used in many bedtime products to promote a good night’s sleep. Melatonin can be used for short periods, although it isn’t advisable to use it consistently. Valerian Root can also be used to aid a restful nights sleep when taken in pill form around 30 minutes before bed.