Due to the opioid crackdown, this past year has been especially difficult for those living with chronic pain. Doctors aren’t faring so well, either. Medical professionals who were once free to prescribe the opioid medications their patients needed to get through everyday life are now fearful of losing their licenses to practice medicine for doing just that.
Over the past year, doctors have been put on notice and even suspended for prescribing necessary pain-relieving drugs to those with chronic conditions such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, CRPS, IBD, and more.
More and more patients have become afraid and desperate due to the incredibly negative effect the opioid crackdown is having on them.
Unlike what you’ve been lead to believe, this ‘crackdown’ is not helping people with opioid addiction (heroin, for example) get their lives back together. What it is doing, however, is taking pain relief away from people who need it to get through the day.
Although natural chronic pain relievers may not be able to offer the speed or scope of relief that an opioid prescription would, these remedies can be used to help you survive the opioid crackdown.
Boswellia is made from the resinous part of the Boswellia serrata tree that grows primarily in Africa and on the Arabian Peninsula. This natural chronic pain reliever contains certain compounds that inhibit pro-inflammatory enzymes within your body.
According to a study published in the medical journal Phytomedicine, boswellia appears to be very effective in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee.
From the study:
“The observed differences between drug treated and placebo being statistically significant, are clinically relevant. BSE was well tolerated by the subjects except for minor gastrointestinal ADRs. BSE is recommended in the patients of osteoarthritis of the knee with possible therapeutic use in other arthritis.”
Bromelain, a chemical compound found in pineapple stems, is an excellent natural chronic pain reliever. Not only is it helpful in reducing painful joint swelling and inflammation, it is also quite effective in breaking down excess mucus (such as in the case of chronic sinusitis).
From a study published in Biotechnology Research International:
“Bromelain has analgesic properties which are thought to be the result of its direct influence on pain mediators such as bradykinin. The earliest reported studies investigating bromelain were a series of case reports on 28 patients, with moderate or severe rheumatoid or osteoarthritis.”
Cetyl myristoleate is a fatty acid ester that was discovered by a research chemist by the name of Harry Diehl in the 1960s. Diehl spent two years trying to isolate the substance that appeared to protect Swiss albino mice from developing arthritis.
Once the compound was isolated, Diehl was awarded three patents between 1976 and 1996 for the use of CM in preventing and treating arthritis.
However, since he was unable to garner any real interest in his discovery, the research scientist hid his knowledge until 30 years later, when he published his findings in the Journal of Pharmaceutical Studies. By then, Diehl himself was suffering from arthritis, and he relieved his pain in only 10 days through the use of a topical CM preparation.
In 1997, a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial involving 382 patients with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis put CM to the test.
One group of patients used 90g/day CM complex containing 12 percent CM.
The second group took the same amount of CM plus glucosamine hydrochloride (GH), sea cucumber (SC), and hydrolyzed cartilage (HC).
The third group took a placebo.
The findings from this study were published in Functional Foods & Nutraceuticals in 2002.
The first group showed 63 percent improvement in symptoms including reduced joint pain, decreased swelling, and an increased range of motion. In the second group, an impressive 87 percent experienced these same results!
It appears that CM, taken in conjunction with glucosamine hydrochloride (GH), sea cucumber (SC), and hydrolyzed cartilage (HC) offers significant natural chronic pain relief among those struggling with arthritis.
When you think of chamomile, you may picture a relaxing tea you’d drink before bedtime. However, chamomile has a few more impressive properties that might surprise you.
From research published in Molecular Medicine Reports:
“One of chamomile’s anti-inflammatory activities involves the inhibition of LPS-induced prostaglandin E release and attenuation of cyclooxygenase (COX-2) enzyme activity without affecting the constitutive form, (COX-1).”
Put another way, COX-2 is what causes pain and inflammation in your body. Cox-1 protects your gastric mucosa, regulates gastric acid, and helps regulate the prostaglandins that cause pain and inflammation.
When you take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, for example, both COX-1 and COX-2 are inhibited, which can result in gastrointestinal malfunction and lead to a worsening of your chronic illness over time.
Chamomile has been shown to be effective in reducing the pain associated with arthritis, back pain, and low-grade fevers.
This common kitchen spice can do much more than soothe an upset stomach.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Preventative Medicine, the active compounds in ginger, including, gingerol and shogaol, inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins and leukotrienes.
The compounds in ginger are also helpful in inhibiting allergic reactions and can be useful in the prevention and treatment of allergic diseases.
According to expert research, capsules are the most effective way of taking ginger as a supplement. Moreover, you should look for brands that use “super-critical extraction” to reap its most powerful benefits.
It is also advisable to take ginger capsules with food as too much ginger can cause an upset stomach.
Note: Ginger should be taken in moderation and not in combination with blood-thinning medications as ginger has a natural blood-thinning effect on its own.
It may surprise you to know that fish oil has been shown to be as effective at reducing arthritic pain as ibuprofen but without the gastrointestinal side effects.
As a matter of fact, the Arthritis Foundation recommends fish oil because of its ability to block inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins.
Furthermore, fish oil also lowers blood triglycerides (fats that circulate in the bloodstream), which reduces blood pressure and protects against heart disease.
A study published in Surgical Neurology revealed that 250 patients who had been seen by a neurosurgeon for non-surgical neck or back pain were asked to take a total of 1,200 mg per day of omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish oil supplements).
Within just one month, 60 percent of patients reported that their overall pain had improved, 80 percent said they were satisfied with the effects of the fish oil, and 88 percent said they would continue taking the fish oil.
No significant side effects were reported.
One of the major mechanisms of chronic pain is the excessive stimulation of a brain chemical called “NMDA”. Although there are a few medications that help decrease and balance this pain-carrying neurotransmitter, they often cause significant side effects.
Magnesium, on the other hand, seems to calm NMDA without the side effects associated with prescription medications.
According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology, magnesium deficiency can also be the cause of or contribute to the worsening of chronic pain.
In addition to treating magnesium deficiency and pain, this mineral helps ease anxiety and insomnia while relaxing your muscles naturally.
Taking magnesium before bedtime can help soothe your nerves and increase the amount of deep, restorative sleep your ailing body needs.
MSM is methylsulfonylmethane, an organic sulfur-containing compound that has been shown to lower inflammation, improve immune system function, and assist in the restoration of healthy bodily tissue.
Studies have shown that MSM can act as a natural pain reliever, decrease inflammation and swelling, and improve your range of motion.
According to a study published in Nutrients, MSM reduces chronic pain by inhibiting the cytokines that cause inflammation.
Serrapeptase is a proteolytic (protein-destroying) enzyme found in silkworms. Without harming any living tissue, this impressive natural chronic pain reliever digests scars, blood clots, arterial plaque, and inflammation in all forms.
Serrapeptase also controls pain by blocking the release of compounds that cause pain from inflamed tissues. This makes it an effective treatment for acute injuries, postoperative pain, and chronic inflammatory conditions.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, the application of serrapeptase showed a significant reduction in the extent of cheek swelling and pain intensity following oral surgery.
Turmeric, a common kitchen spice, is another potent and popular natural chronic pain reliever.
According to a study published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, curcumin (the active ingredient in turmeric) acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial agent.
This healing spice significantly reduces inflammation by blocking cytokines and enzymes, including cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2).
Turmeric has been shown to treat arthritis pain, improve overall brain function, and even assist in the natural treatment of mild depression.
Note: High doses of turmeric can have a blood-thinning effect and cause stomach upset. Avoid turmeric/curcumin if you take blood thinners such as warfarin (Coumadin), are about to have surgery, are pregnant, or have gallbladder disease.
Moreover, it is important to select a turmeric supplement that your body can easily and effectively absorb. Research shows that Bioperine (another name for piperine), enhances absorption of curcumin by 2,000 percent!
The opioid crackdown has many chronic pain patients worried and uncertain about the future. While we always advocate for natural remedies, the need for them has never been stronger than it is now.
Furthermore, when you take a more natural approach to healing chronic pain, you’re not only getting relief, you’re giving your body the chance to do what it was always meant to do—heal itself.
And that is an excellent return on investment!
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