There are various over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, to relieve pain. The long term use of these medicines can lead to side effects. These medicines can also be very addictive. Also, there are various herbs, relaxation techniques, and unique therapies, which can prove to be an effective natural pain killer, giving relief from various painful conditions. Let us check out on how to control pain without pills.
9 Ways To Control Pain Without Pills
Lavender essential oil helps relieve pain naturally. It also helps sleep and ease anxiety. A study shows that inhaling lavender oil may relieve pain associated with migraine compared with a placebo.(1) Researches also show pain-relieving, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects of lavender oil in animals.(2) When using any essential oil always consult a doctor. Never ingest them as they can be toxic. Also, you can mix them with some carrier oil before applying topically.
Feverfew is a flower extract of Tanacetum parthenium. This is one of the most effective natural treatments of migraine.(3, 4) It is also found effective in reducing pain in joints and nerve. It is believed that anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties make it an effective treatment for many types of pains.
Devils claw or harpagophytum procumbens is an excellent remedy to relieve pain in conditions like back pain and osteoarthritis.(5) It is also used for the treatment of pain, fever, and dyspepsia. Devil claw’s pain-relieving abilities may be even broader than the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).(6)
Capsaicin is present in chili peppers and is used as a natural pain reliever. It causes a mild burning or tingling sensation when applied topically. A study shows the important role of capsaicin topical creams and ointments in pain management.(7) It is believed that capsaicin reduces skin sensitivity to pain by working on the nociceptor fibers (nerves which carry pain signals).
Ginger or zingiber officinale is a promising natural pain reliever. The research found that ingesting 2 grams of ginger per day reduced muscle pain caused by resistance exercise and running.(8) This pain takes at least 5 days to go otherwise. The ginger may also accelerate recovery and reduce inflammation. Ginger can be added to the daily diet by adding raw ginger to tea or smoothies. It is always good to consult a doctor before starting any new supplement. Any supplement should not interfere with the existing medication.
An active ingredient known as Curcuma has pain-relieving properties. A study shows that Curcuma extract taken for 4 weeks is as effective ibuprofen in pain management in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.(10) This natural remedy also reduces inflammation. It is can be added to the diet in curries, smoothies or juices.
Cloves have been used traditionally as a home remedy to relieve pain from toothache. A study also shows the effectiveness of clove, it, being as effective as benzocaine gel (a topical gel used by the dentist to reduce needle pain.)(11) Clove is also believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and antiviral activity.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is extracted from Menthe Piperita L. plant. It has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and pain-relieving effects. Carvacrol, menthol, and limonene are the active compounds present in peppermint oil. As essential oils can irritate the skin, therefore people often dilute it in carrier oil before applying on the skin. Avoid applying it on broken skin as it can lead to allergic reactions.
Yoga is a physical meditation practice and is a natural way to manage pain. Back pain management often includes physical therapy, which yoga provides. A study shows that regular yoga improves back pain.(9)
It has breathing exercises, self-care, and relaxation methods, which relieve stress and anxiety and the associated pain.
Benefits of Natural Methods To Control Pain
The natural treatments are herbal remedies or traditional practices which are not habit-forming and neither do they leave any side effect.
A study concluded that long-term use of acetaminophen can lead to increase risk of heart attack, bleeding in the digestive system, and impaired kidney function.(13) Similarly, ibuprofens long-term use leads to an increase in the risk of kidney failure, stroke, and stomach ulcers.
Natural remedies along with relieving pain provide other health benefits.
Natural pain relievers are an alternative for those who want to avoid the side effects of long term use of pain relief medications. Following this traditional path with the doctor’s guidance is a safe and effective way to manage pain.