By: David Foreman, R. Ph. “The Herbal Pharmacist”
When I ask people what is the most prevalent chronic illness, chronic pain isn’t even mentioned. Conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke are usually mentioned long before someone says anything remotely related to pain. Shockingly though, chronic pain sufferers far outnumber all of these conditions combined. According to the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies) there are more than 100 million Americans suffering from chronic pain.
Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts longer than several months. The pain can be continuous or random, mild or severe, debilitating or just plain annoying. The most common conditions associated with chronic pain are; backaches, headaches (including migraines), fibromyalgia, sinusitis, joint pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. The underlying cause can be from any of these reasons; physical trauma/injury, infections, ongoing conditions (cancer, arthritis, infections, neuralgia) and even emotional trauma.
As if living with chronic pain wasn’t bad enough, chronic pain often leads to other health challenges such as depression, fatigue, sleeplessness, changes in appetite, anxiety and other emotions that contribute to the worsening of pain. We also know that chronic pain will decrease immune function, allowing for other health challenges to manifest such as cancer, colds/flu, etc. Bundling these all together, we can see that people who suffer from chronic pain have a less than desirable quality of life.
Considering that modern medicine treatments often come with a price known as “side effects” we can see why many are seeking alternative and natural treatments. There are numerous natural ingredients available to help address the common root cause(s) of chronic pain such as inflammation and muscle spasms/cramps. Taking the natural approach helps patients accomplish either the reduction or elimination of the amount of medications needed to achieve relief.
Following are some of my favorites to use for chronic pain. I too am a chronic pain patient due to a knee injury several years ago and at one point had chronic lower back problems. Using these suggestions, I walk pain free and no longer have back issues.
- Celadrin (both orally and topically)- Orally, Celadrin works by decreasing inflammation and by lubricating cell membranes throughout the body. By restoring the fluids that cushion bones and joints, it helps promote flexibility and mobility. For those days or moments where your pain is worse than usual, use Celadrin topically. Celadrin’s pain relieving effects often happen within 20 minutes and will last for hours. Hot Tip: Applying Celadrin right before bedtime will help with decreasing pain making it easier to fall asleep. (Celadrininfo.com)
- Turmeric has been used for centuries in both Chinese and Indian Ayurvedic medicine to help with numerous health issues including pain and inflammation. Several recent studies show that curcumin, a substance in turmeric, has anti-inflammatory properties, can reduce inflammation and modifies immune system responses. A more developed form of curcumin-Meriva-has clinical studies showing its benefits for fighting pain and inflammation due to osteoarthritis (chronic pain).
- Magnesium helps the muscles to relax and newer studies show it can calm down nerve pain too. Magnesium is especially helpful in conditions like migraines, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms and sleep disturbances.
Lastly, exercise, hot Epsom salt baths and prayer are extremely helpful. Ultimately those taking a more active role in their pain management experience a greater quality of life than those who accept their discomfort.
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About the Author:
David Foreman R.Ph., is a retired pharmacist, author and radio host of the syndicated show, “The Herbal Pharmacist.” He is well versed on the healing powers of herbs, vitamins and other natural supplements. Foreman is a graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Pharmacy and is author of, “4 Pillars of Health: Heart Disease.” He is a frequent speaker at some of America’s leading universities, medical groups and hospitals on the subject of natural health and healing. His shift from traditional pharmacist to herbal pharmacist was based on his belief that education is the key to understanding that natural health plays a vital role in mainstream medicine; and he has dedicated his entire career to educating consumers about the benefits and power behind natural herbs and supplements.