Reduce aches and pains with these top tips

Author: Angela Fleming   Date Posted:8 May 2017 

Pain can be debilitating, frustrating and downright depressing. Pain can interfere with life in the most inconvenient ways. It can prohibit us from doing everyday practical things, as well as the things we enjoy doing. Pain can also disrupt and hinder sleep which can exacerbate symptoms. Adaptation to pain can lead to over compensational use of and disruption of normal body mechanics, which could potentiate further problems.    

Pain does not have to be endured on a daily basis. Life should be painless. Here are some practical tips which may aid in alleviating pain, why not try implementing them into a pain management plan. 

Stress relief

Stress can be a contributing factor to many undesirable symptoms, pain being one of them. Addressing and managing stress accordingly in order to prevent these symptoms is beneficial. Stress reduction is an individualistic process, recommendations vary according to individual needs. Try setting some time aside to do what invigorates you, surround yourself with loved ones and most importantly address the concern causing stress. 

Always speak with your General Practitioner to seek professional advice if stress is unmanageable.

Massage therapy

Massage can be very beneficial in pacifying pain. Research has suggested massage can be used as an effective treatment plan to reduce pain, stress and muscle tension. A study conducted in 2011 demonstrated that older adults experiencing persistent pain who received regular massage, self-reported an improvement in emotional health, social functioning, physical movement and an increase in energy, showing an overall improvement in the quality of life.

There are many different forms of massage. Depending on the type and site of pain advice on choosing the correct therapy is important.  Always ensure you see a qualified massage therapist.

Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a traditional Chinese Medicine therapy used to unblock specific meridians in the body to enhance the flow of chi. Acupuncture is often used to reduce the symptoms of pain and improve range of movement. Specific ‘acupoints’ in the body are ‘opened up’ to release blockages within certain meridians via the insertion of thin needles on the skin.

A systematic review from 2016 supported the theory that acupuncture alters feedback mechanisms to the brain relating to pain. Neuroimaging techniques were investigated to assess the effects of acupuncture on the functional connectivity of the human brain and musculoskeletal pain. The results revealed that the areas of the brain associated with the pain response where altered during treatment, improving overall intensity of musculoskeletal pain. This was achieved by long-term intervention of acupuncture.

Topical treatments

Topical treatments are a great way to relieve pain at the source via direct application. There are a huge range of topical treatments on the market such as creams, gels, ointments, lotions, sprays, roll on, heat packs, cold packs, poultices and compresses, the list is almost endless! When choosing a topical treatment, be sure to choose one with anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and circulatory stimulating ingredients. Or better still try manufacturing your own topical treatment such as a ginger and apple cider vinegar compress.

Ingredients; 2 TBSP. freshly grated ginger, 500mL apple cider vinegar, olive or coconut oil, cloth such as tea towel, chux, muslin, crepe bandage.

Method; in a medium sized pot soak the grated ginger in the apple cider vinegar overnight. Before use, gently warm the prepared mixture- do not boil.

Apply olive or coconut oil to area of skin which compress will be resting on. Soak the cloth in the prepared mixture and squeeze out the remaining excess back into pot. Apply compress to designated area. Compress can be sealed with plastic wrap. Apply for 15 minutes, 2-3 times daily.

Consume anti-inflammatory foods

Did you know certain foods can induce an inflammatory reaction? Pain is always accompanied by inflammation, therefore if inflammation is reduced, pain may also subside. In order to reduce inflammation it is important to avoid inflammatory forming foods such as highly processed foods including deep fried, pastries, cakes, lollies, and chocolates. The implementation of or the increase of anti-inflammatory foods such as ginger, turmeric, chilli, pineapple, oily fish and fresh fruits and vegetables will aid in reducing the inflammatory response as well as promoting repair.

Stretching

Gentle stretching can sooth and alleviate the symptoms of pain. Stretching can improve blood flow to the area, increase range of motion, increase oxygen flow, and release tension in the area.

Seek out the help of your local physiotherapist or exercise physiologist. They will be able to design and tailor a stretching program specifically for your needs.

Magnesium salt baths

Magnesium is highly concentrated in muscular cells, aiding in contraction and relaxation. Magnesium is commonly used to reduce muscular cramping and relaxation and nervous system support. Magnesium salts are easily absorbed via the skin. A warm magnesium salt bath will promote blood flow to problematic areas in the body, reduce physical stress and increase relaxation.

Gentle exercise to increase mobility

Pain may prevent the use of certain muscles in the body, potentially weakening the area and reducing range of motion. Exercise is important in keeping the body fit, healthy mobile and strong. Exercise doesn’t have to be a gruelling task, whether it be a gentle walk, hydrotherapy exercises, specific recommendations or light weight bearing, movement is important for pain reduction.

If you suffer from a medical condition, always speak with your Health Care Professional first before starting an exercise program.

Pillow props

Using pillows as elevation props may prove useful in reducing the pressure of weight to the area that is in pain. Elevating the area may increase the healing process. Speak to your healthcare practitioner to see if this is suitable for your pain.

Avoid injury

It’s a no brainer right? There is no positive benefits to pushing an existing injury further. This will generate further pain and may pose potential danger to the area, causing serious harm. It is important to heal rather than harm.

Supplemental pain relievers

Therapeutic use of supplements can prove beneficial when it comes to relieving pain. Natural anti-inflammatories such as curcumin, fish oil, ginger, green lipped muscle interfere with the production of inflammatory mediators. For example fish oil competes with the enzymes cyclo-oxygenase and lipoxygenase which produces the reduction of pro inflammatory cytokines such as prostaglandins and leukotrienes.

Aches & Pains Buster is a unique industry expert designed formula, specifically used to reduce the symptoms of pain and inflammation.  It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic ingredients such as magnesium, corydalis, white willow and ginger, which aid in pain and inflammation reduction. This product may be used symptomatically. Aches and Pains Buster may interact with certain medications, please check with your General Practitioner or Pharmacist prior consumption.   

*Always check with your General Practitioner if pain persists.

Written by Angela Fleming
Angela Fleming

Angela (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath who strongly believes in living a healthy and happy lifestyle. Angela believes being active, taking time out for yourself on a regular basis and consuming a balanced healthy diet (with the odd sneaky treat included now and then) is the fundamental key to keeping our minds and bodies in good health.

Angela loves to pass on her knowledge of healthy and happy living to her two young children, who love to experiment in the kitchen with her and train alongside her in Karate.


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