There are actually millions of us who experience the occasional discomfort of acute pain, such as a seemingly sudden back ache or muscle soreness after exercise, which may be a normal consequence of strain or overuse. Then there are those who have steady, constant and sometimes debilitating chronic pain, which can be the result of an accident or health conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia or a serious infection. Pain is largely the result of inflammation, which is part of the body’s natural immune response to injury or disease as defenses kick in to protect and heal the body. Typically, pro-inflammatory cytokines play a well established essential role in the inflammatory and neuropathic pain signaling processes.
For relief of inflammation-induced sporadic pain, many of us are quick to pop an OTC anti-inflammatory product that is generally recognized as safe. Alternately, severe chronic pain may necessitate diagnosis and treatment and may result in pharmaceutical prescription medications for relief, which often carry an array of possible side effects, including addiction and gastrointestinal problems. According to the National Institutes of Health, some side effects can be life threatening, including a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, and acute renal failure. In fact, the National Kidney Foundation asserts that the substantial overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) is directly related 10% of kidney failures each year.
Because of the real health and safety concerns of side effects regarding the long-term use of both OTC and prescription medications for chronic and degenerative pain conditions, there is a greater interest in herbal remedies and dietary supplements that can reduce pain and inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory pathways in a similar pattern as NSAIDs. Alternative treatments for occasional pain might also include rest, chiropractic adjustments, massage or acupuncture and when the time is right, yoga, tai chi or other muscle strengthening exercises to reduce pain and enhance the quality of life.
Those seeking an alternative solution for temporary pain may want to consider natural anti-inflammatory compounds, which contain ingredients that have been effectively used for centuries to reduce pain and inflammation without undesirable side effects. Some may require patience for optimal results. Although non-steroidal medications can be effective, herbs and dietary supplements may offer a safer, and often an effective, alternative treatment for pain relief, especially for long-term use.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids – Research has shown that EPA and DHA, omega-3 fatty acids, are effective natural anti-inflammatory agents. The American Heart Association recommends fish oil supplements for prevention of vascular inflammation, an underlying cause of coronary artery disease. Many positive clinical studies have shown fish oil to significantly reduce joint tenderness and stiffness in arthritic persons, which may lead to a reduction in NSAID use.
Curcumin – Derived from turmeric, curcumin has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines as an effective anti-inflammatory agent. As a result of its long history and its demonstrated effect on inflammatory pathways, curcumin is considered a viable natural alternative to non-steroidal agents for pain relief and treatment of inflammation.
Pycnogenol – This maritime pine bark has also been used since ancient times for healing and reducing inflammation. Because it naturally contains a potent blend of polyphenols, pycnogenol is considered one of the most effective antioxidant compounds.
White willow bark – Similar to pycnogenol, white willow bark is one of the oldest herbal remedies for pain and inflammation. Its use dates back to ancient Egyptian, Roman, Greek and Indian civilizations. White willow bark action has shown to have an efficacy similar to aspirin in that it blocks inflammatory prostaglandins, without the possible side effects of long-term aspirin use.
MSM – Methylsulfonylmethane, an organic sulfur compound, has many therapeutic benefits. Among these is its high degree of success in treating chronic pain caused by arthritis, muscle aches, sports and personal injuries and fibromyalgia. MSM has been shown to safely and effectively fight inflammation and reduce or eliminate muscle soreness, stiffness and cramping.
As with any dietary supplement, if you are pregnant, nursing or taking medications, always consult with your health care provider prior to starting any new regimen. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you and answer any questions you may have about any of our dietary supplements.
OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics – This product provides a healthy balance of highly concentrated, pure omega-3 essential fatty acids. Sourced from cold water marine lipids and produced in Norway at a licensed pharmaceutical plant, these natural lemon flavored softgels are stabilized with natural antioxidants to ensure freshness. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO formulation.
MSM Powder by Pure Encapsulations – This patented MSM product contains 99.7% pure elemental sulfur, a naturally occurring organic compound that promotes healthy joints and provides crucial connective tissue support. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian product.
Turmero™ Active (K-75) by Apex Energetics – This liquid herbal formula provides a unique source of 95% concentrated curcuminoids in an emulsified micronized structure. The formula includes black pepper extract for enhanced utilization. Easily administered by oral syringe included with product. Natural orange flavor.
Pycnogenol® 100 mg by PhysioLogics – One rapid-release capsule delivers 100 mg of pure natural plant extract obtained from French maritime pine bark grown in southwest France. Gluten, soy and dairy free formula.
Traumeric by Ortho Molecular – This natural anti-inflammatory product contains a synergistic blend of standardized turmeric root extract, bromelain, quercetin and rutin, which work to limit the action of certain impeding enzymes in the inflammation pathways in order to reduce acute inflammation.
Natural anti-inflammatory agents for pain relief. Online. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3011108/
Choosing Natural Supplements for Arthritis Pain Relief. Online. http://www.healthnews.com/en/news/Choosing-Natural-Supplements-for-Arthritis-Pain-Relief/3KLokZr8H7SPvXriP7RZUd/
Pain In America. Online. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/chronic_pain/chronic_pain.htm#Is_there_any_treatment
What is inflammation? What causes inflammation. Online. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/248423.php#why_does_inflammation_cause_pain