One out of three Americans suffers needlessly with chronic pain, and more than 30,000 Americans die unnecessarily each year from arthritis medications (called NSAIDs).
Now a recent study shows that chronic use of high-dose chronic acetaminophen increases the risk of premature death by 63% (though it was quite safe for short-term use of under four weeks).
So what does this mean? It suggests that it is time to rethink how modern medicine treats pain, and to add in effective natural options. These have been shown in published studies to often be more effective for pain than medications, are very safe and low cost, and have “side benefits” instead of side effects.
As an example, an amazingly effective herbal mix is called Curamin. It is widely available at drugstores and through the Internet in different brands.
It is a special mix of a highly absorbed Curcumin (BCM 95), Boswellia , DLPA and nattokinase.
In many people with pain, it has been effective when morphine has not. In a head-on study for arthritis, it was more effective than the medication. Topical comfrey (called TraumaPlant) can also give rapid pain relief.
What are the side benefits of Curcumin?
1. Associated with a markedly lower risk of Alzheimer’s
2. Numerous studies suggest anticancer and cancer prevention benefits
3. More effective than antidepressants for severe depression
4. Helps balance inflammation throughout the body
What are the side effects of the pain medications?
1. 16,500 US deaths a year from bleeding ulcers from arthritis medications
2. 30 to 300% increased risk of heart attack and strokes from arthritis medications
3. 15,000 overdose deaths a year from prescribed narcotics
4. And numerous other side effects
The key is that it takes the natural treatments six weeks to see the full effect. I find that what works best is to combine the natural treatments with the pain medicines for six weeks. After six weeks, the medication can often be weaned off, or simply taken as needed.
I would note that having treated thousands of patients with severe chronic pain, I can count on my fingers the number we have not been able to get good solid pain relief. Most often the pain goes away.
This includes numerous people who were treatment failures at major pain centers. I know many other pain specialists who have had the same experience.
Why is this so?
Because these specialists use an integrative medicine approach. This means using the entire treatment “tool kit,” as opposed to only the “hammers” used in standard medicine.
When I graduated medical school, I was given the impression that at least 98% of what could help people was part of standard medicine, and that other health modalities were quacks that we needed to protect the public from.
Over the last 40 years of treating people, and tens of thousands of research studies later, it was quite a shock to me as a physician to realize that standard medicine only offers about 20% of what can help people.
Other branches of the healing arts, including nutrition, herbal medicine, naturopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, and a host of others offer the other 80%.
There are numerous studies documenting this. These studies are simply ignored by medicine.
It helps to understand that pain is not an outside enemy, but rather part of our body’s monitoring system.
It is similar to the oil light on your car’s dashboard. If you had a flashing oil light and went to the standard physician, they would put a Band-Aid over it and ask “Is that better?”
You say yes and then wonder why several hours later your motor burns out.
Integrative Medicine combines the best of standard and natural medicine. It would instead look for any oil leaks, and add oil to your car. The oil light would go out, and your car would be healthier for the process.
Another important point: For many kinds of pain, including back and jaw pain, the x-rays bear little relationship to the pain.
Being an upright species, almost everyone has wear and tear on their x-ray. This does not mean it is the cause of your pain—even if your x-ray looks like a war zone.
Let’s look at just a few examples of what the science shows:
1. Arthritis. Research shows that natural remedies are as or more effective than medications for both regular arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. I begin with the Curamin plus a combination of glucosamine sulfate and chondroitin. Give 6 weeks to see the full effect.
2. Fibromyalgia and muscle pain. Our published placebo-controlled research showed that the SHINE Protocol (Sleep, Hormones, Infections, Nutrition, and Exercise as able) helps treat the root causes of the pain. 91% of people with fibromyalgia improved with an average 90% increase in quality of life, and pain dropped by 50% to three months. A single remarkable nutrient called ribose increased energy 61% while dropping pain in two of our published studies.
3. Migraines. The herb Petadolex (butterbur) can both eliminate and prevent migraines. Taking Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) plus magnesium 200 mg a day decreases migraine frequency by over 75% after 2 months
Most kinds of pain can be effectively treated. I find that using a mix of approaches, including herbals, nutrients, medications, and structural (e.g. - Chiropractic, massage and ergonomics) approaches works best. Almost all pain can be effectively treated using Integrative Medicine— combining the best of all of the healing arts.
You can get Pain Free — NOW!
Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., Director of the Practitioners Alliance Network, is one of the most frequently quoted integrative medical authorities in the world. He is the author of the best-selling books From Fatigued to Fantastic!, Pain Free, 1,2,3!, The Fatigue and Fibromyalgia Solution, and the popular free Smart Phone app Cures A-Z. He is the lead author of four studies on effective treatment for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Dr. Teitelbaum appears often as a guest on news and talk shows nationwide including Good Morning America, The Dr. Oz Show, Oprah & Friends, and FoxNewsHealth. Learn more at Vitality101.com.
Posts by Jacob Teitelbaum
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