Aches and pains inevitably increase over time as our bodies age and the management of those every day aches and pains becomes more of a challenge for many people. Studies indicate over 10 percent of adults report they experience some type of pain on a daily basis. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that up to 11.5 million of United States adults in 2015 were prescribed a long-term painkiller as part of a therapy regimen to ease discomfort and primarily musculoskeletal pain from common ailments, such as arthritis, stiff neck and headaches.
More and more, however, the idea of utilizing natural pain remedies is becoming more popular. Whether the remedy includes the use of herbs to reduce inflammation, the practice of acupuncture, or other natural remedies, seniors are becoming more proactive in assessing their situations and looking for alternatives to prescription pain medication. Some of the most used at-home natural pain remedies include:
- Alternating between heat and ice: Ice is a common inflammation reliever after a strain or sprain and also helps to alleviate headache pain. Moist heat helps to ease stiffness in the muscles and pain in the joints by increasing blood flow to the area where the pain is and relax any tissues where there is tightness.
- Turmeric: This spice, which his commonly used in many Indian curry dishes, acts as a natural antioxidant that can help combat cell and tissue damage in the body. This spice is also commonly being used as a key ingredient in detox teas.
- Glucosamine and chondroitin: The New England Journal of Medicine reports that the combination of glucosamine and chondroitin has reduced pain by half in 53 percent of users. Glucosamine is a natural chemical compound in humans that forms and repairs cartilage which cushions the joints. Chondroitin is derived from cow or shark cartilage.
- Willow bark: Hundreds of years ago, history indicates that people chewed the bark of the white willow tree to ease inflammation. Today, willow bark is sold as a dried herb and is commonly brewed as a tea. Willow bark contains the chemical salicin, which is much like the primary ingredient in aspirin.
Rather than immediately turn to prescription pain medications, nature-derived pain remedies cold offer great help. It is best to consult a doctor to discuss alternatives and then go from there.