Natural Pain Relief

Written by Courtney Salinas
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All the medicines we have at our disposal today can be both a blessing and a curse to people looking for pain relief. It's wonderful that we now have ways to combat chronic illnesses like depression and arthritis, but sometimes these solutions come at a price. Big name drug companies take drugs through testing processes and FDA approval and present them to the public through repetitive ads on every channel. These drugs are new, though, and we don't yet know the long-term consequences and might not know for a while.

The side effects we do know about are scary, though. Vioxx, a COX-2 inhibitor and common prescription for arthritis relief, was found to increase stroke and heart attack in some patients. Vioxx was voluntarily recalled by its manufacturer. There are still more COX-2 inhibitors on the market, like Celebrex. Although Celebrex has not been found unsafe to use, its association with Vioxx is all some people need to go looking for other means of pain relief.

Even over the counter medicines like aspirin cause painful side effects. While these over the counter medicines are great for relieving inflammation and pain, they have a tendency to damage the lining of the stomach, leaving people who take these medicines in even more pain. Long-term use of these medicines can cause serious gastrointestinal damage.

This is our modern medicine dilemma. Do we suffer through the pain when we know there's something out there that could help us? Or do we take the new medicines, take our chances with the side effects and hope for the best? We wonder if we'll regret the decision in years to come if there is some sort of fallout with the prescription we're taking.

On top of all this, medication is incredibly expensive. Those without insurance can hardly afford prescription drugs if they can at all. Even those who do have insurance have to pay for some of the continuous medication bills, which can put a strain on family finances.

Alternatives to Prescription Medicines

With all these factors, people with chronic pain are looking for ways to sidestep mainstream medicine. Herbal medicines and creams have become more and more popular over the past decade as people look for healthy and holistic ways to deal with their pain issues. Holistic medicine requires that when healing the body, the whole body must be considered. This means not taking a drug to relieve pain in our joints that will cause pain in our stomachs.

This also means keeping the mind and the wallet pain free. Vitamins can be expensive, but when compared with the prices of prescription drugs, they're actually quite affordable. Even if they cost more initially, supplements can help prevent expensive hospital bills in the future through prevention.

Prevention is also a natural pain relief option. Osteoporosis is incurable but easily preventable. With vitamin D and calcium in the diet or added as supplements, an osteoporosis candidate can prevent decades of pain. Glucosamine and chondroitin are often used to prevent joint pain, since both these help repair and renew cartilage.

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