This article was originally published, via guest post, on Joyful Mud Puddles.
Good morning sharp, stabbing pain. Throbbing pain over here, pins and needles over there, and a bonus migraine. Millions of Americans live in pain everyday. They dream about living happy, healthy productive lives, but are met with chronic pain, and grasp for solutions.
Experts say 110 million Americans live in chronic pain, 24.4 deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and over 5 million suffer from Fibromyalgia daily.
If you fit into one of these categories the pain is real. It isn’t in your head. Life is a real daily battle.
Let’s define the terms, and look at possible solutions:
Chronic pain: Chronic pain is any pain that lasts for more than three months. The pain can become progressively worse and re-occur intermittently, outlasting the usual healing process. After injured tissue heals, pain is expected to stop once the underlying cause is treated, according to conventional ideas of pain.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: a psychological reaction occurring after experiencing a highly stressing event (as wartime combat, physical violence, or a natural disaster) that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event —abbreviation PTSD —called also post-traumatic stress syndrome
Fibromyalgia: Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues. Researchers believe that fibromyalgia amplifies painful sensations by affecting the way your brain processes pain signals.
Okay we’ve defined the terms, but a little more info, if you please
A little something more:
Chronic pain means it lasts a long time, at least three months. It can be a headache, sinus pain, back, neck or joint pain. Maybe it is arthritis, a leg injury that never healed, or a ghost pain from surgery. The cause is not always visible. A broken leg is determined with an x-ray, but chronic pain may not have a determining factor. The pain commonly causes the afflicted area to get less use, thereby worsening the condition.
Post traumatic stress disorder is common among those who have experienced a trauma that has threatened your safety. First responders who witnessed an event and responded to it, or those in military combat may be at risk. The results are broad, but include feelings of anxiety or fear, hopelessness, and reliving the event.
Fibromyalgia is popular in women, but men can have it too. It involves tender points spread out over the body, that cause pain, fatigue, loss of memory, and confusion. The largest target population is middle-aged people, and this group is often in pain for years sense there is no clear road map to diagnosis.
Now we have more detail about the culprits, let’s look at getting some relief. The most common inclination is to reach for ibuprofen or other pain relief, but let’s look at solutions that don’t come in a pill bottle.
- Reduce stress with deep breathing or meditation
- Get a massage
- Essential Oils
Stress can trigger all sorts of health problems, including pain. Breathing can help. Block out distractions and practice filling up the abdomen with air, then deflating it like a balloon. If meditation is new and you’d like a trial to experience relaxation, give Headspace a try.
Get a massage to relieve muscle stress and tension of chronic pain. Research is inconclusive on benefits of massage on anxiety and digestive disorders.
Exercise releases endorphins, which block pain while strengthening muscles and preventing further injury. Ask your doctor for the right routine to best benefit your health.
Diet can aid as a natural remedy. Willow Bark can ease inflammation and carries components similar to aspirin. Turmeric is the spice that gives curry its yellow color and is a natural pain reliever used to combat ulcers and upset stomach. Cloves add spice to meet, but also combat nausea, colds and toothaches. Consider diet first for minor aches.
Acupuncture is the ancient Chinese practice seeking to balance the body’s pathways by inserting needles into the skin. It may release serotonin, a chemical that reduces chronic pain.
Essential oils are are plant components designed to heal and are not to be ingested. They are applied topically, in miniscule amounts, or diluted. Tea Tree can treat funguses and blemishes. Oregano has antibacterial qualities to fight colds and other sicknesses. Eucalyptus is great for chronic cold and allergy sufferers.
Pain is the body’s signal that something is wrong. It may be something as simple as a strained muscle, or more complex, needing professional medical treatment. Don’t hesitate to seek a doctor’s diagnosis and discuss the most natural solutions to remedy your pain.