Living with chronic pain can be a life sentence and many struggle every day. Although pain killers such as Codeine that you buy with a prescription in the UK can help, they are not recommended to be taken for an indefinite period.
You can also build up a tolerance to pain relievers which makes them less effective over time, while the side effects deter many from choosing opiate drugs for pain relief in the long term.
There are always options available regarding medicines for pain, from NSAIDS to opiates to anti-inflammatory pills depending on your condition. For anyone suffering from long term pain though, it’s a good idea to try natural techniques to help alleviate daily symptoms.
There are many devices with a one off cost that use electricity to alleviate pain. Some are used in labour and pregnancy as a safe alternative to opiates. The most popular is the tens machine, this includes pads that are placed on the site of the pain to relax muscles and numb painful areas. There are now also less expensive options that run on small watch batteries and are portable enough to wear all day under clothes.
Magnets have been used for generations to help with chronic pain such as rheumatoid arthritis. The magnetic current penetrates deep into the muscles to provide a natural pain relief that enhances mobility of joints. These can be worn as bracelets or anklets and are often perceived as attractive pieces of jewellery.
Heat has been used for centuries to provide unrivalled pain relief. Many people who suffer from constant pain often integrate heat into their daily pain relief routine. A hot water bottle or wheat pack can be applied to the pain location while a warm bath before bed may help you sleep a little easier. Alongside the warmth and water there are natural garden remedies that also alleviate pain and can be purchased in concentrated form such as an essential oil. Just a few drops added to a bath or a wheat pack can help you relax, which in turn removes tension from joints.
The most popular are Lavender, Black Pepper, Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Ginger and Orange essential oils.
Cold compresses can reduce pain as they act by encouraging muscles to contract while reducing inflammation. A cold compress can be made simply using a flannel and ice. Many find the best way to create a homemade cold compress is to freeze a wet sponge inside an airtight bag. This ensures there is no mess when the compress is applied.
In the same way other essential oils can act as an anti-inflammatory. The ones that do include:
Lavender, Thyme, Peppermint and Star Anise.
When living with pain, advice for exercise can seem ironic. You may have restricted mobility due to your condition, thus making it difficult to carry out many movements. Even the gentlest exercise can help relieve pain, as when your heart rate increases, natural endorphins are released, along with dopamine. It’s this chemical reaction that many drugs such as Co-Codamol try to mimic in order to provide the best pain relief. A walk, or even climbing the stairs can instigate this release, as many will testify, it’s not how much you do, or how vigorous the exercise is, it’s the frequency that counts.
There are many other ways to help relieve pain naturally, it’s best to try them all and to find what is right for you and your condition. You can also introduce massage, hydrotherapy or try other alternative therapies such as acupuncture. Natural ways to relive pain are favoured by many as they don’t pose a risk to health or have any side effects. Before you reach for your next dose of Co-Codamol try some of our techniques to see if you can prolong the time between pain killers.