Pain ruins lives, it makes us irritable and it stops us living the life we want…
Simple things many of us take of granted, such as brushing your hair or getting out of bed in the mornings can all of a sudden, become a difficult chore when we experience pain. Speak to anyone with chronic pain, and they all say it is debilitating. Pain affects our relationships, makes us cranky, we stop catching up with friends, sport may stop and a simple activity like picking up a child, becomes an effort.
Pain has a purpose – for a short period anyway.
Inflammation is meant to be a protective process, as it’s sole function is to overcome damage. When cells or tissues are threatened, the immune system mounts a response (inflammatory) to neutralise and restore function. Given the right circumstances in a healthy body (rest, recovery and pain relief), inflammation is mostly short lived, the tissue recovers and life goes on.
However, when inflammation persists beyond the normal recovery time, or creates other secondary effects it becomes a major issue. Chronic pain is often seen in arthritis, fibromyalgia, gut conditions like Crohns Disease, musculoskeletal issues such as disc bulges, muscle tears, but also skin conditions and allergies.
In clinic, we often see people at this chronic stage – pain is persisting, range of movement is limited and life is pretty miserable.
Latest research shows exciting stuff!
Last week, I was part of a focus group in Newcastle reviewing all the latest research on effective pain management from a nutritional and supplemental perspective. Just quietly, the research is SUPER EXCITING and took a turn that certainly i wasn’t expecting.
We know, that if pain is not treated effectively in the acute stage (i.e. in that first week) it can set the body up for complications down the track.
Now, Ive talked previously about body work, dry needling, trigger point work etc, and these often work brilliantly to assist musculoskeletal pain, but research shows several key nutrients also speed recovery, cut inflammatory markers down, and facilitate tissue repair for any pain related conditions.
A few key herbs and nutrients can really help alleviate inflammation and therefore pain:
- Turmeric, Devils Claw, Corydalis and California Poppy – very powerful herbs to combat inflammation
- EFA’s – fish oils, also have a dampening affect on the inflammatory pathways
- Probiotics?? What, you say…. Long renowned for gut health, research is now showing Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Lactobacillus paracasei (new) regulates the immune system, thereby reducing inflammation
- Magnesium – softens joint and muscle pain, eases tension and emerging evidence suggests it is a potent anti-inflammatory
- Vitamin D – another immune regulator, suppressing inflammation
Can these supplements be used with other prescription pain medications?
The exciting news is that in many cases, yes you can use it together with prescription meds! But as with any herbal or nutritional product, always seek professional consultation to ensure your not doing yourself a whole lot of bother. I always ask clients to check with both their GP and their health practitioner about what they are taking. Our local pharmacists are often walking encyclopaedias when it comes to drug interactions, so fire away.
Yours in health and happiness,
SCONE INSPIRE HEALTH