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The pain stops here

Updated: Apr 25



Everyday life puts enormous levels of stress on our muscles. From hunching over computer screens, overuse injuries at the gym, to countless hours of sitting at a day job, it can be challenging to treat our trigger points (pain). Before going any further, let’s understand what is pain.


Understand why our bodies experience the sensation of pain is important

Pain is an unpleasant sensation that can limit a person’s capabilities and abilities to follow a daily routine. It often acts as an early warning signal to alert you that something is not right with your body.


Body pain can range from mild, localised discomfort to agony. It can be acute and short tempo, or become chronic long-term problem. Acute pain has a protective function for humans as it is part of the inflammatory process, where the immune system tries to protect organs from infection and injury. Its purpose is to localize and eliminate damaged tissue so that the body can begin to heal. However, body pain can also make day-to-day activities difficult and slow down recovery movement. It can change your lifestyle and impact your job, relationships and independence. Pain is always subjective and individuals will experience pain in their own way. While the sensation is very individualized experience, inflammation typically causes pain because the swelling and build-up of tissue starts pressing against nerve endings. This pressure sends pain signals to the brain, causing discomfort. Pain may continue even after inflammation fades away. One may turn to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are used for anti-inflammatory purposes and pain relief.


Is taking NSAIDs good?

Also known as pain relievers, NSAIDs are among the most popular medications worldwide as for many conditions, they work quite well. However, no medication is completely safe, and that applies to NSAIDs too. Long term use of NSAIDs can cause side effects. One of the potential problems is that it can interrupt the delicate lining of the stomach, cause serious gastric problems as ulcers gastric bleeding. Kidney injury, easy bruising or bleeding, and mild allergic reactions are common as well.


Alternative treatments for pain

People have used essential oils, herbs and alternative therapies as natural pain relievers for hundreds of years. Here sharing with you how to manage pain naturally without relying on over-the-counter pain medication:


Ginger

Ginger, or Zingiber officinal, is a root that shows promise as a natural pain reliever. Ginger contains different compounds that have shown to possess antioxidative and anti-inflammatory activities that may be active in lowering chronic inflammatory disease symptoms, especially pain. The pain-reducing effect of ginger has been modulated through various mechanisms such as inhibiting prostaglandins via COX and LOX pathways, transcription factor of NF-kB or acting as agonist to nociceptor (pain receptor). Some research studies have shown that ginger can accelerate recovery and reduce inflammation related to exercise.


Ginkgo Biloba

Flavonoids in ginkgo are the most helpful components that are believed to have powerful antioxidant qualities and the ability to reduce inflammation. They exert their anti-inflammatory activity by reducing the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and several inflammatory mediators through key inhibition of signaling pathways.


Turmeric

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric, has pain-relieving functions. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are the two primary mechanisms of Turmeric. Turmeric also regulate inflammation by inhibiting NFKB, which is responsible to secrete inflammatory cytokines. A small study has shown that curcumin extract is as effective as ibuprofen for pain management when a person takes it for 4 weeks.


As a nutshell, pharmaceutical drugs may not be your only path to pain relief.Natural pain relievers offer an alternative for people who want to avoid the long-term side effects of pain relief medication. It is always recommended to talk to a health care professional before trying out an herbal remedy.



 

References:

  1. Vonkeman HE, van de Laar MA. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: adverse effects and their prevention. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2010 Feb;39(4):294-312. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2008.08.001. Epub 2008 Sep 27. PMID: 18823646.

  2. Rondanelli M, Fossari F, Vecchio V, Gasparri C, Peroni G, Spadaccini D, Riva A, Petrangolini G, Iannello G, Nichetti M, Infantino V, Perna S. Clinical trials on pain lowering effect of ginger: A narrative review. Phytother Res. 2020 Nov;34(11):2843-2856. doi: 10.1002/ptr.6730. Epub 2020 May 20. PMID: 32436242; PMCID: PMC7754412.

  3. Chainani-Wu N. Safety and anti-inflammatory activity of curcumin: a component of tumeric (Curcuma longa). J Altern Complement Med. 2003 Feb;9(1):161-8. doi: 10.1089/107555303321223035. PMID: 12676044.

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