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Ease Pain and Inflammation Naturally
The Silent Epidemic
Inflammation and inflammatory disease are rising in all developed countries and research links depression and stress to this rise in its markers.
Although we all have an individual or genetic response to daily stressors and toxins that affect our immune system's resilience, we can control our choices which, in turn, affect our health.
Is this a form of Arthritis?
- Joint pain can flare up for a number of reasons even in the young. It is estimated that one in five Americans have been diagnosed with some form of arthritis of which rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis are the most well known.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease causing inflammation of the fluid of the joint - recognizable by a warm feeling in the joint and, stiffness in the morning. This form of arthritis responds well to exercise and use of the joint.
Osteoarthritis feels worse as the day wears on. This arthritis is linked to the breakdown of joint cartilage and usually affects hips, knees, spine.
- If you suffer from chronic widespread musculoskeletal pain and fatigue for more than three months, and although you feel tired you have difficulty sleeping, you may be suffering from fibromyalgia.
- Other causes of joint pain can be injury, muscle strain, tendinitis, bursitis, food allergies, Lyme disease or menopause.
Ask yourself the following questions, the answers to which will enable your medical provider to reach correct diagnoses.
- Is this pain relatively new? If you have had an injury, it is not unusual for joint pain to develop and escalate after the injury date.
- Is the pain related to changes in the weather? A drop in barometric pressure before rain or snow may cause inflamed tissue to expand and become more painful.
- Is the pain associated with an activity? Overuse and misalignment are common causes of joint pain.
- Is it the joint or muscle? Muscle pain may respond positively to stretching or massage therapy.
- Is your Pain worse in the morning? Start noting your pain, if it lasts for more than 30 minutes in the morning and feels better during the day it could be rheumatoid arthritis. Check your mattress, don't eat or drink refined carbohydrates at night - may positively turnaround your joint pain.
- What's happening in your life? In Eastern medicine pain is a sign of energy blockage. We know the body stores tension in the muscles, so it not difficult to accept that your emotional life can impact your joints.
Natural Ayurvedic Home Remedies
Is Your Diet Aggravating Your Inflammation?
Low carbohydrates diets rich in Omega 3 (found in cold water fish, such as salmon and tuna, and flaxseed) seem to be most effective.
While omega 6 fatty acids found in egg yolks, meats, corn, sunflower, soybean and safflower oil prevalent in snack and fried foods, margarines etc, are linked to increasing joint inflammation, as well as citrus, and corn.
Drinking sodas particularly affect men, yet does not appear to affect women.
Some sufferers are seriously affected by nightshade vegetables e.g. tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, sweet peppers etc., and others not at all.
Many plant based foods contain antioxidants and Phyto chemicals which may reduce joint inflammation, as do dark green vegetables including spinach, kale and seaweed, also raw nuts, seeds, quinoa and soups made from free range poultry or meat bones.
Flavour your foods with turmeric, oregano, garlic, and ginger. Drink chamomile and green tea as the bioflavonoids limit free-radicals in your body. Calcium and magnesium are essential as is vitamin E.
Try an elimination diet to help you to rule out any food intolerance that may add to an inflammatory response in your body.
Refined sugars, casein and gluten the proteins found in wheat and dairy and foods high in trans fats may set off inflammation, while dairy and wheat may trigger indigestion or bloating when we get older.
Frequent bouts of diarrhea or constipation, bloating, heartburn and acid reflux are early signs of dietary problems. Over eating of fast foods will inevitably overwhelm your metabolism and digestive system.
Eating a healthier diet will cause you to lose excess weight.
Remember, if you're overweight, losing four pounds will take sixteen pounds of pressure off your knees, which pressure will wear down your joints over time.
Moderate or Eliminate Stimulants
Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, for example, place a heavy burden on your system. One of the fastest ways to reduce inflammation is to stop smoking and overuse of stimulants. Try quitting for a week or two and see how you feel, the results will encourage you to quit for good!
Lots of water, fresh fruit and vegetables to keep the body cleansed and toxin free.
Painful emotional baggage, guilt, and physical stress release cortisol from your adrenal glands, which affects your insulin levels and metabolism thereby playing a role in chronic inflammation. When one understands the multifaceted issues at the source of pain, it can quiet the inflammation and increase mobility.
Making these changes can make a tremendous difference to how you feel in an extremely short space of time.
Gentle regular exercise is necessary to help with the pain and to keep the muscles controlling the joint healthy and flexible while improving your overall wellness.Walking, swimming, yoga and pilates are all good.
If you sit for long periods, get up and walk around the house (preferably outside if the weather permits), down the road or climb the stairs a few times. Simple stretches for the upper body to allow muscles that have been bent over or hunched to stretch the other way.
Find time to relax, if you live with chronic stress think about meditation or biofeedback therapies. Talk therapy can help people walk through their emotional minefields. Try religious or community support groups where you can share your burdens. All these therapies can calm inflammation by lowering your stress hormone, cortisol.
Plenty of Sleep
Try for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to recover from, and undo the previous day's inflammatory response. Don't undervalue the simple act of going to bed in comfort, try a lambskin mattress cover for extra comfort.
Anti-inflammatory drugs should only be used for short periods during acute crises due to the long term effects of the medication and the steroids.
If you have tried everything perhaps relief will be achieved through acupuncture, massage, water therapy or other mind/body treatments that reduce pain and inflammation naturally.
Anti Inflammatory Herbs, Spices & Vitamins
Many herbs and spices have powerful and effective anti-inflammatory actions, here are a few :
Boswellia or Indian Frankincense
Ayurvedic medicine has long recognized the importance of this herb in switching off the cell signalers to the inflammatory mediators called cytokines.
Although it has been valued for centuries in alternative medicine, biochemists are studying its analgesic, anti inflammatory, anti-nausea and sugar-moderating affects on the body. Recently this work is showing how ginger extract inhibits the activation of genes that encode the molecules in chronic inflammation.
Turmeric or Curcumin
Ayurvedic medicine has long used this spice as an anti-inflammatory agent. It is a mild inhibitor, but works differently to the prescription drugs which can cause heart attacks or strokes.
These are both fundamental building blocks in healthy cartilage, and may help repair damaged tissues and delay progression of joint inflammations while alleviating its symptoms. (If you have shellfish allergies, please check with your doctor before taking these supplements).
Vitamin C has long been recognized for its anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that High blood levels of Vitamin C reduced signs of inflammation by 45% and also lowered risks of blood clots indicated by blood viscosity.
Vitamin E plays a significant role in reducing inflammation as well as cleaning up the free radicals in the body.
Easing joint pain naturally : Dr. Axe
Please remember to always check with your medical practitioner first before you change your medication in any way.
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