Danger of pain pills with COVID-19 and Chronic Pain
Everyone talks about breathing and lung troubles that could come with COVID-19. But a common problem is that COVID can cause is pain – not just pain in the chest, but in other areas of your body as well. The worst part? The pain can last long after the coughing is gone.
Commonly, doctors will tell COVID patients to take Tylenol for pain and fever from non-severe COVID. The thing is, acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, depletes your glutathione stores, and glutathione status has been associated with how severe your COVID symptoms become.
Many people choose natural supplements and remedies over lab-created pharmaceuticals because a lot of pain medications may cause serious lasting side effects. A few documented side effects of pain medications include:
- Stomach ulcers
- Hyperglycemia, and more.
Doctors will often tell patients that there are no natural products that will provide as much pain relief as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (“NSAIDs”) such as aspirin and ibuprofen. The thing is, people have used pain-relieving herbs and practices for centuries, often with a lot of success.
Here are eight natural approaches to pain that have some promising science behind them.
8 Natural Remedies for Chronic Pain
Disclaimer: Always check with a qualified medical professional before starting any new supplement or health practice. You’ll want to bring up your pain with your doctor to rule out serious health conditions that could be causing your pain.
The top natural approaches to chronic pain include:
- White Willow Bark
- Wintergreen Essential Oil
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids
White Willow Bark
White willow bark is one of the oldest herbal remedies for pain and inflammation. The gastric side effects of aspirin, has caused a resurgence in the use of white willow.
This bark has antioxidant, antiseptic, immune-boosting, and fever-reducing properties.
Similar to aspirin, willow bark acts on is used to block inflammatory prostaglandins. Some people use wFor instance, you can replace aspirin with white willow bark to treat low back pain, osteoarthritis, and headaches.
Because willow bark contains salicin, researchers suggest that people who are allergic or sensitive to salicylates (such as aspirin) should not use willow bark.
More and more commonly, people supplement with collagen for lots of reasons:
- To address joint pain and stiffness
- To improve mobility and flexibility
- To help build the bone matrix
- To help speed recovery from injury
- To improve the appearance of skin, hair, and nails
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body, making up 90% of our connective tissue and organic bone matrix – helping to build and repair. As we age, our body’s natural collagen production declines, leading to joint and bone degradation. Collagen supplementation can help give your body what it needs to perform regular joint maintenance, which could in turn reduce joint-associated pain.
Wintergreen Essential Oil
The application of this anti-inflammatory oil, when applied on the affected area of the body, may reduce discomfort in joints and alleviate bone pain. When absorbed through the skin, could deliver quick relief to minor aches and pains.
It is important to note that this is for topical application only, and if accidentally ingested, it can have an effect similar to aspirin overdose.
Wintergreen oil works because it contains methyl salicylate, which has an effect similar to aspirin. Manufacturers of topical pain-reliever creams sometimes include methyl salicylate and menthol, which is a cooling compound (think peppermint).
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, which amplifies pain in some cases. Turmeric, a root that is part of the ginger family, contains curcumin, a compound that may help to reduce pain and inflammation.
For a long time, traditional healers have used turmeric to calm inflammation. A growing body of research shows turmeric’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumor effects.
People have used turmeric and curcumin supplements for conditions like cystic fibrosis, colitis, chronic neurodegenerative diseases, arthritis, and even cancer, with mixed results. Some people experience minor side effects, and excessive amounts could cause digestive upset.
Kratom is an herbal extract that has been reported to treat chronic pain due to its anti-inflammatory effects. It comes from the leaves of an evergreen tree grown in Southeast Asia and is commonly made into a liquid product. Because of its stimulant and sedative effects, kratom has been used to treat muscle aches and other conditions.
Kratom, however, must be used carefully, since researchers believe that the potential side effects outweigh the benefits for this one.
Always follow the guidance of a qualified medical professional.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Experts recommend omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower inflammation, help with joint pain, stiffness, back pain, and pain from menstrual cramps. These “good fats” are also said to be helpful for people with chronic muscle pain and nerve problems.
Foods like fatty fish, walnuts, spinach, flaxseed oil, and eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Or, you can take your recommended amount of fish oil per day as supplements.
Over the long term, movement can be one of the most effective ways to approach pain. Sitting for long periods of time can worsen the pain you are experiencing.
Walking, running, or lifting weights will work your muscles, keeping them from tightening and stiffening.
Other types of movement, like yoga and stretching, can also lower pain levels. It is most important to find what type of movement works best for you and that you enjoy the most! The most effective type of exercise is the kind you will do.
Cryotherapy sounds advanced, but chances are, you’ve used an ice pack on an injury at some point in your life. Any application of cold for therapeutic purposes counts as cryotherapy.
Research shows that cryotherapy may decrease pain, inflammation, swelling, blood loss, and narcotic usage after surgery.
Cold applications, below 10º C, relieve pain because they decrease the number of painful impulses sent to the brain in addition to slowing them down. Since cold stimulations are very intensive, they may lead to endorphins and release release of happy brain chemicals. This remedy could have an effect on low back pain.
Always work with a qualified professional who can guide you on how to do cryotherapy safely. Complications related to cryotherapy are rare, but can include frostbite, chronic pain, and loss of fingers and toes.