A Guide to Natural Pain Relief
If you suffer from chronic or acute pain of any kind, you're undoubtedly aware of the many different solutions and remedies available on the market ranging from therapeutic treatments to over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and we're not aiming to cover each and every solution in detail for you in this guide.
The main aim of this resource is to share our recommendations around some natural pain relief options which are proven to have powerful and lasting effects on many different forms of pain most commonly reported by our customers.
These solutions include holistic, non-medical interventions such as breathing exercises and relaxation techniques, and we showcase our unique range of Hempe products which take the very best natural ingredients for relief and combines them with CBD during a rigorous formulation process that has resulted in four powerful topical pain relief products aimed to alleviate some common aches, pains and skin complaints.
We'll also explore some of the reasoning behind why pain is a topic so close to our hearts and our approach to finding a solution that has lasting benefits for those who try them.
How Many People Suffer from Pain?
A 2020 study entitled The Global Pain Index Report (PDF) captured the impact of pain on individuals everyday lives. It reported that a shocking 34% of the global population suffer from pain everyday. Most of these people feel that pain decreases their quality of life and wish there was something they could do about it.
To add to this, we all know that taking oral pain medication over long periods of time can be bad for us (in fact, we recommend taking topicals instead)! And now, about a quarter of those people that suffer with chronic pain are looking for other more natural ways to manage their pain.
As interest in the space rises, we thought it would be a good time to examine all about Natural Pain Relief. Spoiler alert - our overall recommendation is to try Hempe Hot & Ice gels which is natural plant-derived relief
Natural Solutions to Pain Relief
Chronic pain can affect anyone at any age. People suffering from chronic pain often feel frustrated because there isn't one single cure for it and it's a daily annoyance or worse. However, you don't have to live in the full throes of chronic pain.
There are ways to manage it, lessen it and in many cases get rid of it. In this article, we'll show you some ways to ease chronic pain naturally. It's definitely worth trying the things on the list as different methods work well for different people. In other words, combining multiple natural remedies may help relieve pain better than any one method alone.
Let's dive right in and walk through some of the most popular natural methods of natural pain relief.
Acupuncture for Pain Relief
The deployment of acupuncture as a treatment for pain relief is a technique used to treat various types of chronic pain conditions such as headaches, backaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, joint pain and arthritic pain.
The theory behind acupuncture is that disease occurs when energy flows out of balance between the body's organs. When the flow of energy becomes blocked, illness results. By inserting fine needles into specific points along energy pathways in the body, practitioners stimulate the release of these blockages. This leads to increased circulation and improved function throughout the entire system.
Acupuncture has been used extensively for thousands of years to treat various ailments. Some recent studies even suggest that acupuncture relieves chronic pain better than standard medical treatments. There is not significant clinical evidence to back this up. There is however, plenty of evidence which suggests that acupuncture can help relieve symptoms or ease the suffering caused by various types of pain.
Other benefits include improved circulation and reduced stress levels. However, one must be careful when receiving acupuncture treatment because some patients may experience adverse side effects with a varying response to pain treatment such as bruising, bleeding, or dizziness.
A combination of acupuncture and moxibustion (burning herbal paste) can be effective for relieving symptoms of arthritis. It should be noted that acupuncture can be ineffective for some patients, especially those who have chronic musculoskeletal pain. It also seems to work best when combined with other treatments like physical therapy and/or medication.
Aromatherapy for Pain Relief
Therapeutic aromatherapy massage is an ancient practice that involves applying essential oils to the body. It's been used for centuries to provide soothing effects to those who suffer from chronic pain.
There is evidence that essential oils therapy can be helpful in managing mild to moderate cases of arthritis and pain. In one study, it was shown that aromatherapy was found to be effective for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.
Aromatherapy is not only good for pain relief but also for stress management. The smells released when applying essential oils to your skin are relaxing and soothing.
Because the essential oils contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, aromatherapy treatments have proven effective at reducing migraine headaches, arthritis pain, and other conditions like relieving anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, joint pain, muscle aches, and migraines.
Generally medical health practitioners recommend that acute pain (like strong muscle spasms from injury) - should be treated aggressively using medications. However, chronic pain has multiple causes, some of which respond well to massage therapy, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, tai chi or other therapies.
Aromatherapy has been shown to help relieve stress, anxiety, depression and insomnia. It also relieves headaches and migraines when used on the neck.
CBD for Pain Relief
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of over 100 cannabinoids found naturally in the hemp plant. It doesn't produce any psychoactive or intoxicating effects when consumed but may help naturally reduce pain as it makes you feel relaxed and calm.
CBD interacts with receptors inside cells throughout our body. These are proteins found on certain nerve cells (neurons) in both our brain and spinal cord that communicate messages between different parts of the nervous system. When these CB1 receptors become activated they send signals back down the neurons.
CBD reduces pain by interacting with these CB1 receptors in your brain and interfering with the pain signals. These receptors form part of what is called the endocannabinoid system and play a role in regulating emotions, moods, sleep patterns, appetite, and energy levels. The endocannabinoid system also plays a role in memory formation, learning, coordination, movement, and other cognitive functions.
Many report that Cannabidiol is very effective against inflammation of joints so many use CBD for joint pain. Many patients with rheumatoid arthritis benefit from using CBD. It also helps reduce muscle spasms. There is some evidence that cannabidiol is useful for neuropathic pain and many are using CBD for frozen shoulder.
There are now a variety of topical CBD pain alleviation products including CBD muscle gels, CBD bath salts and CBD balms. Using topical products (products that go on your skin rather than ingestion) means that more CBD goes to the affected area and has the quickest possible impact on your pain symptoms.
Massage Therapy for Pain Relief
Trusted across all corners of the globe for millennia, massage therapy is one of the most popular complementary treatments for musculoskeletal issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain, sore muscles and sports injuries.
Massages are typically performed by licensed practitioners, usually trained nurses, physical therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, acupuncturists, reflexologists, or certified athletic trainers. They use a variety of techniques including Swedish, Thai, deep tissue, trigger point, myofascial release, neuromuscular re-education, hot stone, aromatherapy, cupping and shiatsu to name but a few.
The benefits of massage therapy include improved circulation, increased range of motion, relief of muscle tension and stiffness, decreased inflammation, and reduction of pain. There is a wealth of compelling evidence that massage may help prevent injury, improve sleep quality, and increase energy levels.
Hot & Ice Pain Relief Therapy
A favourite among those partaking in high-intensity sporting activities, hot and ice therapies are great natural tools for relieving pain, especially when combined with other treatments such as massage.
Cold packs are used primarily for fresh injuries, while heat is used for chronic conditions. However, heat should be avoided during pregnancy due to potential complications.
Hot and ice therapy works well for pain relief because heat increases blood flow to areas where the pain is located, and the ice cools other parts of the body to bring down inflammation. However, cold therapies may be less effective when used alone, depending on how much pain you're experiencing. Some patients find that combining both types of therapy provides greater pain relief.
With the increased blood flow, comes faster healing, which reduces pain. As noted above, cold therapy typically works best when applied after exercise or injury. However, hot therapy may be used just about any time, such as post-workout or during recovery.
Some forms of heat and cold may cause burns or other injuries so be careful to avoid any skin damage.
We would also like to introduce you to new natural gels that give hot and ice therapy. They have been independently assessed to get rid of pain so we can fully recommend that you try Hempe Hot & Ice gels.
Yoga for Pain Relief
The word "yoga" originates from Sanskrit language meaning "union". This union refers to the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and energetic balance within oneself.
A clinical trial found that yoga is an effective and safe method for people suffering from chronic lower back pain (read our guide to Lower Back Pain here). Researchers found that regular yoga classes helped patients recover faster and return to work sooner. In addition, it improved quality of life and decreased pain levels.
There are many different types of yoga such as Ashtanga Vinyasak, Hatha, Layengar, Kundalni, Power Flow, Restorative, Yin, and Vippassana. Each type focuses on specific aspects of yoga like strength, flexibility, concentration, meditation, and breath control though some yoga poses are shared in common.
Yoga also helps people reduce stress levels and improve posture and muscle strength and bone health (which can all help in reducing back pain). Pregnant women should consider practising yoga during pregnancy too as it helps yield a deep sense of relaxation and stimulates blood circulation.
Herbal Pain Relief Remedies
Natural herbal pain relievers are becoming increasingly popular due to their effectiveness and lack of side effects. There is a growing body of evidence supporting the use of herbal medicine for treating pain.
Many of the herbs have been shown to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Most herbs have a lower toxicity than most pharmaceuticals. It's recommended to try as many of the as you can and to see what works best for yourself.
Let's walk through a few of our favourite natural supplements for your consideration.
Lavender Essential Oil
According to just about everybody "lavender is known for its calming effects." Lavender essential oils are used widely in aromatherapy because of their relaxing properties. Lavender essential oils are often added to bath salts and inhaled through diffusers.
Some studies suggest that lavender essential oil may help relieve depression, insomnia, and anxiety. You can also inhale lavender essence directly into your nose which again can help with pain. You simply place a few drops of lavender essential oil onto a cotton ball or tissue and breathe deeply.
This technique works well for those who struggle with allergies. We absolutely recommend relaxing CBD Lavender bath salts - they're both natural and decadent, a hugely popular product among those who've tried it.
There are many benefits of ginger including relief from nausea and vomiting, improving digestion, and aiding circulation. Ginger is often recommended for those suffering from arthritis because it helps reduce joint stiffness and swelling. It is also believed to help prevent heart disease and cancer.
The active ingredient in ginger is called gingerol. Gingerols are polyphenolic compounds found naturally in ginger. They are responsible for most of the health benefits attributed to ginger.
According to WebMD, there is evidence that ginger may help ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis symptoms. In one study, participants took either 600 mg of ginger powder or a placebo twice per day for four weeks. Those taking the ginger experienced significant improvement in their ability to walk and climb stairs compared to those taking the placebos.
In another study, researchers gave 50 people with osteoarthritis either 300 mg of ginger powder or nothing once per day for three months. After three months, the group given ginger had less pain and an improved range of motion.
Other research suggests that ginger may provide relief for menstrual cramps. One study showed that women who take ginger during menstruation experience fewer cramps than those who don't. Another study found that ginger reduces pain and improves blood flow in women experiencing painful periods.
If you suffer from migraines, you might also want to give ginger a try. Some studies show that ginger relieves migraine symptoms such as headaches, neck pain, and sensitivity to light and sound.
The fish oil supplement market is expected to grow to $2.4 billion by 2024 according to Transparency Market Research. Omega 3 fatty acids are essential nutrients found in fish oil. They are necessary for proper brain development, cardiovascular health, immune system function, joint health, skin health, and eye health.
Omega-3 supplements are often recommended for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis symptoms, osteoarthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. However, there is less scientific evidence supporting the use of omega-3 fish oils for these conditions.
In fact, many studies show that taking omega-3 fish oil supplements does not prevent heart attacks or strokes, nor does it slow down cognitive decline.
On the plus side, Fish oil contains beneficial nutrients like EPA and DHA, which can help treat certain conditions and which can reduce inflammation and some joint pain.
Many doctors recommend omega-3 fish oil because it is inexpensive and widely available. These supplements are safe for those without medical conditions, but should be avoided by anyone taking prescription medication.
There is no recommended dosage for omega 3 supplements. However, most experts agree that 2 grams per day is sufficient for healthy adults. This amount is equivalent to approximately one tablespoon of flaxseed oil, three tablespoons of walnuts, or six ounces of salmon.
Turmeric is an antioxidant that decreases inflammation. In one study, people who took turmeric supplements had lower levels of CRP, lowered blood pressure, lowered cholesterol, reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, improved sleep, better mood and increased energy and vitality.
A study found that people who ate curry frequently had better health outcomes. Curry contains curcumin, a compound that fights cancer and heart disease. Curcumin also improves memory and cognitive function.
Research shows turmeric helps fight cancers and heart disease. Studies show it lowers blood sugar levels and triglycerides. It boosts immunity and protects against Alzheimer's disease.
There are many brands of turmeric available today. Look for high quality products that contain standardised amount of curcuminoids, such as turmeric powder, turmeric extract, and turmeric oil.
Alpha-lipoic acid is a very powerful antioxidant. It helps turn glucose into energy and protects cells against damage from oxidative stress.
The compound is produced naturally by our bodies and is used to treat diabetic neuropathy, nerve pain, and skin conditions like psoriasis.
According to researchers, alpha lipoic acid may also help regenerate other antioxidants. In a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine, scientists discovered in an animal study that rats given alpha lipoic acid had lower levels of reactive oxygen species in their blood. They also experienced improved memory retention and learning ability.
In another study published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, scientists found that patients suffering from dementia showed improvement in cognitive function after being treated with alpha lipoic acid. Alpha lipoic acid is not to be confused with alpha linolenic acid which is an omega 3 fatty acid.
Devil's Claw Root
This has been traditionally used to alleviate joint pain, inflammation and arthritis. A study published in Pharmacognosy Review found that devil's claw extract had anti-inflammatory properties similar to those of ibuprofen.
In addition, there are no known side effects associated with taking devil's claw. Take it before eating. Do not take while taking other medications.
Are You Ready to Try Some Natural Pain Relief Solutions?
The biggest barrier to natural pain relief is that sufferers do not see natural solutions as effective as prescription medication. Yet, we all know that in the long term, we cannot keep taking prescription medicine.
Many of the techniques and remedies outlined in this guide show huge promise and not only have clinical research to back them up but genuinely do offer strong natural pain relief for millions of people on a daily basis.
Whatever you ultimately decide to try, we wish you the very best of luck and a future with the absence of pain. We really do recommend that you try a new natural alternative and use the muscle relief Hempe gels.
If you'd like to speak with one of our dedicated pain specialists, we'd be more than happy to assist you with your query. Please contact us today and we'll be here to assist in tune with our brand mantra of 'Hempe Helps'!