Almost-Instant Fixes for Pain Relief

Wednesday, 08 May 2013 08:30 AM

By John Bachman and Donna Scaglione

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For many of us, pain is a constant companion in our daily lives, whether it’s joint inflammation, muscle aches, headaches, or back pain. Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, who has devoted his life to helping people overcome chronic pain, tells Newsmax Health that reaching for pain medication is not the answer, and that simple, natural remedies can provide relief.

Too often, people suffering from chronic pain get in the habit of taking over-the-counter pain medication, but that can cause serious side effects, Dr. Teitelbaum says, like bleeding ulcers and increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

“Pain is like a warning light on the car’s dashboard,” he explains. “So it’s as if the oil light is going off and instead of putting oil in your car you’ve covered it up with a Band-Aid and then you get down-the-line problems.”

Pain relievers for occasional pain are helpful and unlikely to be harmful, he says. “But if you have chronic ongoing pain, one, there are natural remedies that are far more effective and much safer, and secondly, you want to go for the root cause of the pain.”

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It’s important to explore the type of pain you might have — migraine, arthritis, nerve, or muscle pain — and the best remedy for it, advice he details in his book, “Pain Free 1-2-3.”
For example, with muscle pain, which, along with arthritis pain is the most common kind of pain, tight muscles are the culprit. It actually takes more energy for a muscle to relax than it does for it to contract.

“When you don’t have enough energy in your body or in that muscle, the muscle gets locked into a shortened position and in the belly of that muscle, where it bunches up, is a tender marble called the trigger point, and that can shoot pain all over that the region,” Dr. Teitelbaum says.

Finding and releasing the muscle pain’s “trigger point” through massage can relieve the discomfort, including pain you’ve had for years, in seconds.

Simply taking a walk in the sunshine can also reduce pain. Sunlight exposure enhances the body’s production of vitamin D, a lack of which can trigger pain. Be careful not to overdo it, Dr. Teitelbaum warns; if you feel achy or extremely fatigued the next day, you did too much. If you’re experiencing too much pain or fatigue to walk, try easy exercises in a warm-water swimming pool to get into shape for walking.

Also, be sure to get enough magnesium, a key energy nutrient. The American diet is full of processed foods that are stripped of magnesium and other vital nutrients. Consuming an extra 200 to 300 milligrams a day by eating green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and nuts like almonds will energize your muscles, helping them function better, Dr. Teitelbaum says.

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