Healthy Living

4 Steps to Evaluate Natural Remedies for Pain & Inflammation

The FDA’s recent safety labeling changes for opioid pain medications has drawn new attention to the risks and side effects of traditional treatments for pain and inflammation. It joins an already growing concern among consumers affected by chronic issues such as joint pain, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, injuries, and other ailments. I’ve seen this with my patients, as well as within the medical community, for many years.

But I’ve also experienced it first hand following a serious injury of my own. It sparked a passion and interest in exploring natural remedies to pain and inflammation. I’ve researched the role nutrition, diet, herbal supplements, and other treatments might play.

I’ve also tried many different herbal supplement products, dietary changes, and other natural remedies, including developing an herbal supplement called InflaDox.

This combined effort has given me a unique look at every facet of natural alternatives to traditional medication. Today, I share this knowledge with my patients to help provide them with the best holistic care available, as well as continue my education to stay abreast of new developments and innovations in all types of healthcare and medicine.

What most don’t realize about natural remedies for pain and inflammation is that many are prescribed by doctors and used by millions of people every year. It includes heat and cold therapy,  diet modification, and chiropractic or physical therapy to induce motion to the joints and muscles.

While many physicians today prescribe pharmaceutical medication in addition to the common natural remedies mentioned above, there are a growing number of patients and doctors exploring herbal supplements as an alternative. For pain and inflammation, this includes ingredients such as curcumin, garlic, and celery, which have been widely known and used for their medicinal properties. Because herbal supplements are natural, the body may have the potential to digest and process them more effectively than synthetic products, therefore reducing risks and side effects. It’s driven greater access to herbal supplement products for consumers than ever before, and more consumers today are considering these products for health issues.

For those interested in natural alternatives for pain or inflammation, here are a few important steps to consider:

1. Seek A Complete Treatment Plan

The best way to reduce pain and inflammation is with a well-rounded treatment plan, particularly if it is a chronic issue. However, even those with temporary pain due to illness or injury can benefit from having a good map of how they’ll address and treat the problem. Many people continue to suffer from pain and inflammation because they’re only addressing it in one or two ways versus making a comprehensive effort. Be thorough as you talk with your physician about all of the ways you can manage symptoms beyond pharmaceuticals. This will help you determine an action plan that is best for you.

2. Be Honest And Open

It can be uncomfortable to disclose the things you’re not doing to help your health and wellness. But it’s important to share everything so that your physician knows what specifically is taking place in your body — including what you eat, drink, and other everyday lifestyle choices. He or she can then help you determine if any lifestyle changes are needed to ease pain and inflammation. Many times small adjustments can make a difference!

3. Explore Your Options

There are many natural remedies to consider for pain and inflammation. Ask and learn about all of those available to you. You can find a great deal of knowledge including therapies, herbal supplements, and other substitutes via accredited websites like WebMD and major media outlets. This can help if your physician is not versed in natural treatment alternatives, though be sure to speak with him or her about any plans or information you’ve attained before taking action.

4. Research Products Before You Buy

Whether you’re considering herbal supplements, agronomic furniture, or heat/cold therapy packs, be sure to do a little research. With herbal supplements, for example, quality, potency, and ability to aid the body in absorption are all very important. Not all supplements are created equal and often less expensive offers a lesser or sometimes inefficient quality product. This is something I learned while developing the herbal supplement InflaDox. Many wonder if they can just eat the raw ingredients found in herbal supplements, but this can require a significant dosage or use where a supplement can be a better option. Go online and read about all of the products you’re considering for managing your pain or inflammation. You’ll find consumer reviews, reports, blog and media posts, and other details that can be helpful in making choices and purchases.

Just as consumers need to learn about and understand the pharmaceutical medications they’re prescribed, it’s important to do the same with any other treatments including natural remedies. It can require giving different options a try as many do with traditional care. Careful consideration needs to be given if you’re taking other medications, and you need to be aware of any potential side effects, dosage requirements, and other specifics. By working with your physician to identify and explore the choices available to you, you can create a holistic, natural treatment plan that’s right for you.

by Charles Srour

Main Image: Bekki Y. Photography via Flickr

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