Chronic pain can be debilitating. Finding ways to lessen the daily impact and learn ways to live with it is the goal. Here are some great home remedies that can help. You can read last week’s post for additional ideas.
Peppermint and eucalyptus
Both herbs have powerful aromatherapy effects. They can also be made into a great topical pain reliever as well.
- Mix equal parts of peppermint and eucalyptus oils into a carrier oil such as olive or coconut oil.
- Shake and mix thoroughly in a glass bottle. Store at room temperature away from direct sunlight. Apply a small amount into the skin as needed.
Aromatherapy with essential oils such as lavender, clove, and orange have been shown to be effective in helping all types of pain due to their anti- inflammatory properties. Rub just a few drops mixed with a carrier oil into the painful areas, add to an infuser or place a few drops on your pillow to get results.
An often-overlooked nutrient, it helps bone health as well as reducing pain and swelling.
Foods rich in magnesium include:
These salts break down into magnesium and sulfate. Both have wonderful anti-inflammatory properties that can decrease inflammation and swelling, easing sore muscles and joint pain.
- Pour 1.5 cups of 100 % magnesium sulfate salts into your warm bath water to get relief to your entire body.
- Add a scent like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, or orange to increase the effect.
Known for its anti- inflammatory properties, one study showed participants who took 1200 mg a day with eicosapentaeoic and decodahexanoic acid felt significant relief of their back pain in 75 days. Some experienced enough relief to stop their prescription pain meds. You can also load up on foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, trout, olive oil, and walnuts are all sources.
Cherry juice contains high levels of anthocyanins, which are antioxidant compounds that can reduce inflammation and muscle pain. One study showed runners who drank two bottles of tart cherry juice for a week before a race had less post-race pain. Others stated it speeded recovery.
Want something sweeter? Try watermelon juice. It packs an amino acid called L- citrullibe. Some studies showed athletes who drank 16 ounces had less muscle soreness the next day after an intense exercise workout.
Cloves are the fragrant flower buds of trees native to Indonesia. They contain eugenol, a natural anesthetic and anti-inflammatory. Dilute clove oil in a carrier oil at a 1-2% dilution and massage it topically into muscles and soft tissue to ease pain. For tooth or gum pain apply it directly to the site or chew on whole cloves.
We’ve shared how this is easily nature’s best pain killer. It has remarkable, sustained and widely applicable analgesic properties. Particularly for neuropathic pain which is caused by irritated or damaged nerves as well as joint, muscle and soft tissue pain. It comes over the counter in a variety of preparations- ointment, patches, creams, lotion and gels.
Paraffin wax baths
Wax baths are a great way to ease arthritic aches and pains in your hands, feet, and even elbows. Using a machine that warms and holds paraffin wax, the body part is immersed completely. Its warm temperature can provide relief from arthritic and sore muscle and joint pain. Don’t use with open wounds or problems with sensation. And follow directions at all times to stay safe.
Anti- inflammatory diet
Replace processed foods and refined carbohydrates, even sugar substitutes with healthier options like whole grains, fresh fruits, plant-based diets, legumes, fish, poultry and unsaturated fats. In time this will decrease pain, inflammation, stiffness in joints and muscles. See if your insurance will cover a dietician referral to discuss which may be best suited to your needs.
Exercise, exercise, exercise
This can’t be stressed enough. Movement is imperative to decreasing pain, increasing strength and mobility, surging nutrients to much needed joints and muscles and removing inflammation and toxic particles. See our Tuesday posts for easy ways to get started and exercise anywhere, any time.
Hot/ cold packs
Not sure how to begin? Check out our posts on when to use one, the other or both. As well as how to make your own great hot/ cold packs in any size for use at home or as great holiday gifts.
Whether it’s self-guided imagery, meditation, or deep breathing, they all will help you to decrease stress and tension in achy joints and muscles. Find yourself clenching throughout the day? Pick one of a multitude of ways to calm and relax anywhere, any time.
We all know how great a deep tissue massage can feel. Don’t have the money or friend to give you one? No problem. Check out my posts on how to massage different areas on your own.
Discover ways to improve sleep. Linens, pillows, sheets, lighting, blankets, and pajamas can all impact how well and long we sleep. Getting a good, restorative night of sleep can make all the difference in how we feel the next day.
Don’t forget to laugh, play, and socialize. Pain is overwhelming and exhausting. Too often we just want to crawl into bed and be left alone. But that’s the worst thing we can do. As study after study has shown, getting active, having fun and going out with friends is key to releasing feel good hormones and acting as a diversion.
Whatever you choose, these home remedies can be a powerful way to help decrease the underlying cause of pain and improve activity. Always clear with your provider before starting.