Chronic pain is hard to live with. While some people are lucky enough not to suffer from chronic pain most of their lives and sometimes even never, the chances of having it are bigger than you would think. A conservative estimate puts the number of people suffering from chronic pain at around 1.5 billion around the globe. It is more likely to affect people in the later stages of life due to increased bone and muscle vulnerability, it can also occur among the younger population due to injury or underlying medical conditions.
Pain that lasts for longer than 3-4 months even after seeking medical attention is usually classified as chronic pain. Chronic pain can be the result of an injury that never healed properly, or one that healed improperly. While the root cause of pain can be difficult to pinpoint, doctors cite nerve damage due to injury as a possible reason. The pain usually presents itself as a dull ache most of the time after the initial acute pain, and can flare up unexpectedly for no reason at all. Chronic pain can severely affect your productivity and social life, restricting movement.
Why Painkillers aren’t a Great Solution
While chronic pain cannot be cured completely, there are many ways to effectively manage or handle chronic pain. The focus should always be on keeping the pain in check without further worsening it. Painkillers are usually the first idea that pops into your mind. It should always be kept in mind that resorting to constant use of painkillers for chronic pain should not even be considered. Painkillers carry many harmful chemicals and ingredients, and in the long run, they lead to more serious medical conditions such as kidney and liver failure.But on particularly bad days, a painkiller might be needed. Consult your doctor to find out what kind are the least harmful for you.
Before looking at effective home remedies for chronic pain, let’s look at some common causes that lead to such a condition.
Common Causes of Chronic Pain
While the root cause of chronic pain often goes undiagnosed, they are often linked to either old injuries or underlying medical conditions. They also occur in old age simply because the bones and muscles in the body are too worn out or weakened to smoothly carry out day to day functions without pain.
Injuries are common, and in most cases will not lead to chronic pain. Most pain associated with an injury goes away after the injury heals, but in very few cases, the pain lingers and develops into chronic pain. This kind of chronic pain can be hard to digest, but active medical intervention can keep disturbance in everyday life to a minimum.
2.Underlying Medical Conditions
Medical conditions are a common cause of chronic pain. These conditions can seem cruel since sometimes they are hereditary and present themselves out of the blue without any apparent triggers. They can be managed with a combination of medication and chronic pain home remedies.
Some medical conditions that cause chronic pain are Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Home Remedies for Chronic Pain
Exercising with chronic pain may seem tricky at first. Yes, the natural instinct when your body is hurting is to minimize physical activity and withdraw into a shell between home and work. But the only way to effectively manage the pain is to learn to live with it and slowly build your body to handle it. Regular physical activity will bring down inflammation and strengthen the affected muscles. It will reduce your risk of further medical conditions as well. Start small, such as 15 minute walks or cycling a small distance every day. Here are some exercises you can move onto with time.
Massage therapy focused on the area affected by pain can give you multiple benefits. The gentle rubbing increases blood circulation to affected muscles, rejuvenating them with warmth and more nutrients. Ayurvedic massages further use analgesic oils which can seep in through your skin and heal your muscles. Chronic pain is also a common cause of stress, with physical limitations leading to emotional ones as well. Massages also help with stress by relaxing your muscles and releasing pressure built up in the joints. You can get the necessary materials and get your family or friends to give you a massage, call a practitioner home or visit one at a clinic for the full experience.
Turmeric is very effective in managing long term pain due to the presence of an active compound known as curcumin. Curcumin primarily acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and reduces swelling in the muscles. Its antioxidant properties also actively promote healing. For pain relief, turmeric is usually ingested as a drink, on its own or with other pain relieving roots such as ginger. It can also be topically applied to get rid of itching. In India, turmeric is one of the most accessible chronic pain home remedies.
4.Topical Pain Relievers
In the times when your chronic pain flares up and becomes unbearable, topical pain relievers are the best way to get instant relief. They are applied externally on the area affected by pain, and gives a soothing feeling within seconds. Since they are applied externally, they are not harmful like painkillers even though they are made of chemicals. There are also several natural topical pain relief products in the market now, such as the products by MY Dr. Pain Relief which uses the power of Ayurveda for chronic pain relief.
Heat therapy is widely used as a chronic pain remedy in various forms. There are simple heat therapies that you can do at home, such as using a hot water bag on affected areas or even a hot water bath to increase blood flow. With increased circulation, heat therapy is also effective to get rid of muscle cramps caused due to lack of oxygen in the muscles. It also has a soothing effect similar to a massage. Heat relaxes the muscles and gets rid of soreness. Heat therapy is best used in combination with other chronic pain home remedies.
As touched upon before, chronic pain has a lasting effect on one’s mind as well as body. Stressing about pain will only give rise to more pain. Leading an active lifestyle as much as possible to keep your mind off the pain can work wonders as a chronic pain remedy. Practices such as Yoga and meditation which calms the mind can help keep stress away. Try to maintain a schedule, with ample time for relaxing activities. Even listening to your favourite music can have a soothing effect on mind and body, and help relieve pain!
While chronic pain has the potential to cause great disturbance in your day to day life, you can still fight it and keep the interference to a minimum. The chronic pain home remedies listed here can help you manage the pain, but should be used in combination with prescribed medication from your doctor for the best results. Your doctor understands your problem the best, so he can help you finalize a personalised plan of action.