When it comes to sporting injuries, joint pain, and even arthritis, many of us will turn to over the counter (or OTC) medicines to help us work through the pain.
Synthetic medicine has been a crutch to lean on for the vast majority of us at some point in our lives.
Headaches, nausea, aches and pains, whatever the ailment, chances are your local pharmacy will point you in the direction of some artificially manufactured pill or cream to soothe your discomfort. In general, these medicines work well. The likes of ibuprofen are great at reducing inflammation in joints, and the use of such synthetic painkillers isn’t going to be stopping anytime soon, but in recent years a new trend has started to emerge, shying away from these sorts of remedies, and leaning towards a more natural and gentle approach. Just as we have become more aware of what we put in our bodies when we eat, how we treat our maladies is also being put under the microscope. So what alternatives are available for the health conscious victim of a joint injury? As it turns out, there are quite a few.
Hemp, the much-maligned wonder crop
Thanks to a change in attitude over the last decade, products made from hemp have started to infiltrate all kinds of industries, not least the healthcare sector. Gone are the days where we would automatically associate the hemp plant with the chasing of psychedelic dreams and hedonism. Hemp contains two cannabinoids which react very differently in the human body. THC (which is found at high volumes in marijuana) is the compound which gets a user ‘high’, whereas CBD (found in much higher concentrations in hemp) is responsible for giving users a general sense of wellbeing and in some cases, temporary relief from pain, with no such associated ‘high’. Companies such as CBDMEDIC have been using CBD infused creams to treat chronic pain, as an alternative to the stronger OTC and prescription drugs. With such high levels of dependency on opioids and other strong prescription painkillers in society, having a natural alternative such as this could help prevent the current addiction crisis from getting worse.
Diet your way to a pain-free life
A change in diet can be a huge help for anyone suffering from long or even short term pain. While it has been known for quite some time that certain foods can help alleviate painful symptoms, it has also been viewed as a slightly ‘hippy’ or naive way to fight against pain in the era of synthetic pills and sprays. The truth is though, certain foods can be even more reliable in reducing pain than these OTC medicines. Extracts of foods such as ginger, turmeric, and Valerian root are all known to relieve pain, and in the case of the latter, can even have some anti-anxiety properties. For the ultimate in “natural remedies”, eating certain foods can help keep the pain under control without the worry of putting any synthetic chemicals in your body.
If all else fails, therapy can help
Depending on how severe the pain is, physical and psychological therapies can sometimes help a sufferer deal with their problems without the need for any other medicine at all. From massage therapy (which can help relax troublesome muscles, and in turn reduce tension) to psychotherapy (allowing the patient to realize behaviors that exacerbate muscle tension), some people may see improvements in the level of pain without the need to take any medicine at all. Other types of therapy can include (but are not limited to) chiropractic therapy, acupuncture, and hypnotherapy. When it comes to these sorts of treatments, it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ deal, but they are fast becoming a hugely popular choice for the health-conscious consumer. The beauty of this approach is that you try one therapy and if it doesn’t work move on to another, without the risk of becoming addicted to a synthetic painkiller.
With the sheer volume of knowledge and options available, dealing with pain doesn’t have to be as frustrating as it once was. If synthetic medicines are something you try to avoid in life, the options available to you are becoming vast, and as such we should start to see more and more people try the natural options before falling back on the synthetics. Whilst there is nothing wrong with the way the majority of people use OTC remedies, having more natural options to try first is never a bad thing and should be encouraged for the less severe cases out there.