Living with chronic pain can be frustrating. Yes, that’s an understatement. Perhaps the most frustrating thing is that symptoms can be so different for people who have the same condition. Fibromyalgia, for example, can show up as joint pain in some people, and headaches or sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures in others, but it all falls under the umbrella of fibromyalgia.
What does this mean for the person experiencing the fibromyalgia symptoms? Well, it means there’s no one size fits all solution. And the same goes for other chronic pain conditions, including back pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis and carpal tunnel, to name a few. In this post, we take a holistic approach to natural pain management strategies. As always, please check with your doctor before trying any new remedy.
Often times pain management involves a multi-faceted approach, including medications, healthy diet, exercise, meditation and more, to start to feel better. It’s not necessarily just one thing that makes us feel better, but the compound effect of all of the positive things together. For the person in pain, the key is finding what combination of things will make them feel better. Here are a few ideas.
Drink bone broth
Many people and doctors claim that drinking bone broth can help with many issues, from relieving joint pain, to improving digestion, to making skin firmer and smoother. Science doesn’t necessarily back these claims; however, there is one benefit that several small studies suggest to be true: chicken broth may reduce inflammation.
According to Harvard Health, laboratory tests of chicken soup, published in CHEST in 2000, found that chicken soup can actually reduce inflammation by inhibiting the activity of neutrophils, which are white blood cells that first respond to any inflammation in the body. In other words, it was found to reduce inflammation.
If you have a condition that causes inflammation, try making chicken soup with chicken bone broth. You can also purchase soup from the store, but try to purchase organic or low sodium options if you have the option to. One major problem with purchasing premade soup is the amount of sodium in the can, so compare labels before purchasing.
Use a foam roller
One woman who suffered from migraines and terrible headaches for 15 years swears by using a foam roller to reduce her head pain. Val Torikawa was tired of being bedridden, feeling depressed and having to take ibuprofen every single day.
“You just kind of chalk it up to old age and that’s how it was for me,” Torikawa said. “I thought okay, this is what life is going to be like.”
That changed when she started using a foam roller two years ago. Now the migraines are gone, she says, and so is her pain from carpal tunnel syndrome.
Using a foam roller can break down scar tissue and smooth and lengthen muscles. It also improves blood circulation. While there can be many benefits of rolling, it is important to do it carefully so that you’re not causing damage. If you are going to try a foam roller, don’t roll over bones, especially your spine, joints or inflamed areas, and foam rolling sound be a part of a comprehensive exercise program. Please consult with your doctor before trying out a foam roller.
Grounding is the practice of placing your bare skin on the earth, like walking around barefooted in the grass. When you do this, the electrons in the earth are absorbed through your feet, and support the function of the organs in your body. Does this sound a little crazy? Studies have been done to support the idea.
A study published in the Journal of Environmental and Public Heath found that grounding appeared to improve sleep, regulate cortisol levels, reduce pain and stress, speed wound healing and more. If you have a painful condition, try walking in the grass with your bare feet ten minutes a day, and see if you notice a difference. It’s free, and worth a shot.
What are your favorite natural pain remedies? Please comment below to share what has worked well for you.